Sting Reveals His Go-To Karaoke Songs — and Shares Which One Requires a Feather Boa (Exclusive)

Sting, who will become a Fellow of the Ivors Academy in a ceremony on Thursday, opens up about his karaoke preferences in this week's issue of PEOPLE

Richard E. Aaron/Redferns Sting
Richard E. Aaron/Redferns Sting

With hits like "Every Breath You Take" and "Roxanne" under his belt, it's no wonder that Sting's songs are karaoke staples.

But when the rocker, 71, takes the mic for some karaoke sessions of his own, it's not his own catalog he turns to.

"If I do karaoke, I have two go-tos," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "One is 'She Drives Me Crazy' by Fine Young Cannibals, and the other is the Human League, 'Don't You Want Me.'"

For the latter tune, Sting even adds some extra flair: "I love that song. I wear a feather boa and everything, it's fantastic. For that song — before Harry Styles did it!"

Styles, of course, is a known fan of wearing feather boas while performing, and even added one to his look when he took the stage at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

For more on Sting, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

Kevin Winter/Getty Harry Styles
Kevin Winter/Getty Harry Styles

For Sting, though, the stage and a karaoke room are the only places he'll show off his famous pipes: "You think I sing in the car? No. I sing on stage. I don't even sing in the shower. I've got to save my voice. If I was to sing a song in the car… let's see. It would be something really banal, like 'Old MacDonald'."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is set to become a Fellow of the Ivors Academy, a prestigious music writers' association in his native England, in a ceremony in London on Thursday.

"If you ask me my profession, I would say I'm a songwriter, so to receive this honor is very special," says the star, whose real name is Gordon Sumner. "I get people coming up to me saying, 'Oh, I got married to your song,' or 'We buried Uncle Charlie to your song' or 'I fell out of love to this…' People mark their lives with the songs of their era, as do I."

Related:Sting Tells Stories Behind Hits, from Prostitutes ('Roxanne') to Bond ('Every Breath You Take') (Exclusive)

Eric Ryan Anderson Sting
Eric Ryan Anderson Sting

He released his 15th studio album The Bridge in 2021, and will appear on Dolly Parton's upcoming rock album Rockstar, where they'll team up for a new version of "Every Breath You Take."

Sting tells PEOPLE that he wrote the beloved 1983 song while staying at a house in Jamaica that was previously owned by Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond series.

"I would sit at his desk at night and try and write songs," he says. "I think if the song has any power at all, it's ambivalent. It could be sinister or it could be quite warm and sweet and nice, and people have both of those interpretations. And I would never contradict anyone who has a different interpretation of any of my songs because in many ways, that enriches the song."

He adds that perhaps he was more inspired by James Bond than he initially thought: "Maybe the ghost of James Bond is in that song, you know? He's our guy, but he also kills people. There's this duality that I think is in the song, and I think that's why it's so successful. Some people get married to that song, so I'm not going to contradict people."

For more on Sting, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

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