Classic Rock

Sting on the “insane” idea that produced an album that “makes people smile”

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Mr. Luva Luva Inc.

In 2019, Sting won a Grammy for 44/876, an album he made with reggae/pop star Shaggy. Now the two have re-teamed for Come Fly wid Mi, a recently released album Sting produced of Shaggy doing reggae versions of Frank Sinatra tunes like “That’s Life.”

Sting first came up with the idea when he overheard Shaggy singing during a boat trip in Norway, but admits that the concept is definitely “insane.”

“He was singing along with the Frank Sinatra CD. I just heard something in it that appealed to me, because it doesn’t sound like Frank. He sounded like Shaggy, because he’s got an equally iconic voice. But there was some authenticity there,” Sting tells ABC Audio.

“And so the idea just kept coming back to me. And a year later I said, ‘We should do that crazy idea,'” Sting laughs. “It’s insane! But I’m so glad that it’s actually seen the light of day now and people are responding in the way I thought they would.”

The album includes well-known songs like “Fly Me to the Moon,” but Sting had Shaggy sing some lesser-known tunes, too. He claims he was “very strict” when it came to Shaggy “singing the correct melody,” but, Sting adds, “He’s a good pupil.”

Sting predicted that Come Fly wid Mi would bring people joy, and he was right. At the album launch in New York City, Sting says, “As soon as [Shaggy] started to sing…everyone in the club…had this wide grin…it just makes people smile. And what does the world need more than a smile at the moment? I don’t know! We need a smile!”

It’s unlikely Sting and Shaggy will be performing together in the near future, though, since Sting is currently doing his Las Vegas residency My Songs, followed by a European tour.

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