Sting spent the entirety of his career studiously avoiding the appearance of having a good time, which is why his 2018 collaboration with reggae star Shaggy seemed so odd: at the age of 66, the rock star decided it was finally time to crack a smile. 44/876 – a collaboration named after the phone codes for their respective home countries – is most certainly a party record, albeit one that cooks at a low simmer as it swings between fleet-footed reggae sunsplash tunes and mellow grooves. If Sting seems subservient to Shaggy, that makes sense. Shaggy specializes in doing one thing well, while Sting took it as a point of pride that he could do anything from jazz to symphonies.
44/876 is a collaborative album by English musician Sting and Jamaican musician Shaggy. It was released on April 20, 2018 by A&M Records, Interscope Records and Cherrytree Records. The album's title refers to the country calling code for the United Kingdom (+44) and the North American area code for Jamaica (876), Sting's and Shaggy's respective home countries. In the first 3 months the album sold over 500,000 copies, world-wide.
A little more than a year after the release of his 57th & 9th solo LP, Sting is just about ready to release his next project — and it marks another creative turn in a career filled with them. Per official press release, the former Police frontman has teamed with reggae fusion artist Shaggy for 44/876, a new "collaborative, island-influenced album" that promises to honor "the duo’s mutual love of Jamaica — its music, the spirit of its people and vibrancy of its culture."
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Shaggy’s diamond-selling album, Hot Shot, a brand-new album entitled Hot Shot 2020, featuring updated versions of the biggest hits and most beloved fan favorites across Shaggy’s catalog, along with a number of never-before-heard tracks.
A companion album of sorts to 2019's My Songs, Duets collects 17 duets Sting has recorded over the years. Some of these tracks appeared on soundtracks, some were included on albums by his duet partners, others – including "September," a song recorded with Zucchero that makes its debut here – trickled out on compilations. Collectively, these duets showcase Sting The Polymath, a cultured and worldly individual with an ability to synthesize his diverse interests into smooth, jazzy, mature pop. What's striking about the compilation is how a roster as diverse as Eric Clapton, Shaggy, Mary J. Blige, Annie Lennox, Herbie Hancock, Sam Moore, and Julio Iglesias doesn't sound especially eclectic; when the common denominator is Sting, all the guests adapt to his particular ways.