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Sting takes spotlight at swanky French Riviera soiree

CANNES, France — So where does superstar singer Sting do some of his most creative thinking?

While strolling.

“It puts you in a kind of Zen state,” he told USA TODAY just before he headed to the stage to entertain a group of executives gathered for a private party at the posh Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on Tuesday.

There is no particular location that spurs innovative thoughts: “If I knew where the spot was, I’d be there all day,” he says.

And there is no guarantee that creativity will indeed strike while he’s stretching his legs.

“It’s like fishing. You throw the line in and sometimes you get something and sometimes you don’t,” he says. “But the more you do it, the luckier you get.”

There are some other elements, in addition to walking, that help to foster creativity, Sting says, such as having an open mindset. For instance: “When you are open to ideas, you’re open to influences, you’re not prejudging anything.”

Yet overall, “creativity is a mystery to me,” he says. “There is not button to press. There is no code.”

Sting, who sported a bushy beard, was in the French Riviera to perform at a party put on by media and entertainment company iHeartMedia and advisory firm MediaLink. The fete was packed with marketing, media and advertising honchos who were in town for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which is a major trade show and awards event for communication professionals.

The crowd swayed – and filmed with their smartphones – as Sting sung songs such as Roxanne and Message in a Bottle.

Last year’s party performer, Mariah Carey, sat among the executives crowded into the audience.

But don’t expect Sting to listen to her music – or any other tunes – to relax after a performance. Or to use music to relax at all.

“I love music. Music is my life, but it’s very hard for a musician to listen to music without analysis,” he says. “You’d never see me relaxing on a sofa, going, ‘I’m loving this music.’”

“I will avoid it,” he says. “I prefer silence.”

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