Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rainforest FundMonday night in New York City, Sting and some of his famous pals staged the 30th anniversary edition of his Rainforest Fund charity concert, which he and his wife Trudie Styler have been hosting on and off since 1989. On the red carpet, Sting told ABC Audio that, sadly, trying to save the rainforest seems to be a never-ending task.
"We've won a lot of battles in the struggle to save our planet, but, you know, we can't be complacent. We may well be losing the war because our politicians aren't addressing it," Sting said. "And some of them are saying it's a hoax. Some of them are actively pursuing the destruction of the planet."
He added, "So, you know, I think you have to be optimistic, but at the same time, it's getting harder and harder."
This year's show, dubbed We'll Be Together after the Sting song of the same name, featured even more of a star-studded lineup than usual: It was hosted by Robert Downey Jr. and, in addition to Sting, it featured performances by Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, James Taylor, Bob Geldof, Shaggy, Ricky Martin, Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC and a reunited Eurythmics. The duo of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart haven't performed together since 2014.
"This is an interesting thing to do from both of our perspectives," Dave Stewart told ABC Audio. "About two years ago, we were just messing about and making little films and playing. And this is the first real opportunity of somebody directly going, 'Guys, will you play as Eurythmics?' And we're like, 'Oh, well, go on then!'"
Sting said of the event, "We're creating community, and everybody who comes and joins us in this family is part of us. And my friends come...and everyone, if we hadn't met before, becomes our friend, so it's a lovely feeling. It really is."
What makes it even more special, Sting noted, is that in 30 years, these concerts have never been released on record or on video.
"One of the lovely things about this concert, which attracts people, is we don't record it," he said. "You know, it's a one-off and there's no cameras flying everywhere. It's the relationship between the artist and the audience. And that's what people like."
So that means that only a lucky few got to see an amazing lineup of performers and songs. Here's who sang what:
Robert Downey Jr. & Pose star MJ Rodriguez: "Addicted to Love"
Sting & Shaggy: "Englishman in New York"
James Taylor: "Your Smiling Face" and "Up on the Roof" (Drifters cover)
Bob Geldof: "I Don't Like Mondays" and "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding" (Elvis Costello cover)
Shaggy with Sting: "Electric Avenue" (Eddy Grant cover)
Joe Sumner (Sting's son): "Ashes to Ashes" (David Bowie cover)
Italian singer Zucchero: "Misere"
Debbie Harry: Medley of "Call Me" and "Rapture"
DMC: "Walk This Way"
James Taylor: "Never Die Young"
Sting: "We'll Be Together"
Ricky Martin: "Cup of Life" and "Livin' La Vida Loca"
Sting: "Sledgehammer" (Peter Gabriel cover)
Adrienne Warren, star of the Tina Turner Broadway musical Tina: "The Best"
John Mellencamp: "Jack and Diane"
John Mellencamp & Bruce Springsteen: "Pink Houses"
Eurythmics: "Would I Lie to You," "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
Bruce Springsteen: "I'm On Fire"
Bruce Springsteen & John Mellencamp: "Glory Days"
Bruce Springsteen: "Dancing in the Dark"
Finale with everyone: "Don't Stop Believing" (Journey cover)
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