The Police: Vishy Anand is a fan

by André Schulz
1/30/2024 – Last weekend, Mumbai hosted the second Lollapalooza music festival on the Asian continent. The headliner was former Police singer Sting. And former World Champion Viswanathan Anand was right in the middle of the crowd, singing along as a big Police fan.

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Last weekend, Mumbai played host to the Lollapalooza music festival, which has been held in many parts of the world for many years and is now in its second year on the Asian continent. At the Mahalaxmi Race Course, artists from all over the world performed live music from a variety of genres on four stages.

The line-up included the Jonas Brothers, OneRepublic, singer-songwriter Halsey, alternative rockers Keane, dance music duo Jungle, sound rockers Royal Blood, hip-hop rappers JPEGMAFIA, Italian electro combo Meduza, French house DJ Malaa and many more. The African continent was represented by Fatoumata Diawara. Indian performers included folk singer Anoushka Shankar, the popular folk band The Raghu Dixit Project, indie-folk-alternative band When Chai Met Toast, as well as Prabh Deep, Dualist Inquiry, Komorebi, Parekh & Singh, Skrat, Kamakshi Khanna and a host of other artists and bands. 

The second day's headliner was English singer-songwriter Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE, better known by his stage name 'Sting'.

Sting rose to fame as the bassist and singer of the new wave trio The Police. The band was formed in 1977 by Sting, Stewart Copeland and Henry Padovani. Padovani was soon replaced by guitarist Andy Summers. From 1978, Police enjoyed worldwide success with their first two albums 'Outlandos d'Amour' and 'Reggatta de Blanc'. Their first big hit was Roxanne:

However, the band broke up in the early 1980s. The fifth and final album, 'Synchronicity', was released in 1983. Sting later stated that the reason for the split was that he had been using cocaine regularly during the period of rapid success, which made him quarrelsome. After the split, Sting became even more popular as a solo artist with his atmospheric ballads.

When he took to the stage in Mumbai, Sting greeted his audience with the words "Kai Zhala Mumbai?", which means "What's going on in Mumbai?" in Maharathi, which the public liked.

During his one-and-a-half-hour performance, Sting played 16 songs, including a number of world hits, also from his Police days, such as Englishman In New York, A Thousand Year, Every Breath You Take, Shape of My Heart, So Lonely and Roxanne.

So what has all this got to do with chess? Well, a World Champion and Indian chess legend turned out to be a huge Police and Sting fan. Viswanathan Anand was one of the many tens of thousands of visitors, and he sang along enthusiastically.

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.