Sting’s stage name started out as a ‘joke’ E! News UK

Sting’s stage name started out as a “joke”.

The 70-year-old rock star – whose real name is Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner – was given his famous nickname as a joke by a trombone player in an old band when he complained about a song and started wearing a black and yellow t-shirt, apparently resembling a bee.

He said: “He made me sing a song which was awful. So in protest I started wearing a black and yellow top. He started calling me Sting as a joke.”

However, the ‘When We Dance’ hitmaker went on to explain that he was “grateful” for the stage name because it speeds up the autograph signing process.

He told the Daily Star newspaper: ‘I’m grateful for that now because when you have to sign something, it’s short!’

It comes shortly after Sting – who shot to fame with rock band The Police, before finding success as a solo artist – became one of the latest big stars to sell out of his catalog, following the traces of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

Sting gave his discography to Universal Music Group for $300 million.

He said: “It was natural to unite everything in a house of trust. It is absolutely essential for me that all of my career work has a house where it is valued and respected. Not only to connect with long-time fans in new ways, but also to bring my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music, was delighted to have made the deal.

He said: “We are honored that by choosing Universal for its music publishing, all of Sting’s work as a songwriter and recording artist – from The Police to his solo work – will all be part of the Universal family.”