Gordon Sumner, (born 2 October 1951), better known by his stage name Sting, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band the Police from 1977 to 1986, and launched a solo career in 1985. Sting incorporated heavy elements of jazz, classical, and worldbeat into his music, writing lyrics that were literate and self-consciously meaningful, and he was never afraid to emphasize this fact in the press. For such unabashed ambition, he was equally loved and reviled, with supporters believing that he was at the forefront of literate, intelligent rock and his critics finding his entire body of work pompous. Either way, Sting remained one of pop's biggest superstars for the first ten years of his solo career.