Catch Sting Joining Dire Straits Onstage for an Iconic Live Aid Performance

What happens when two legendary artists perform live in front of nearly two billion people? In this case, an unforgettable duet between Dire Straits and Sting at the iconic Live Aid concert in July 1985. They played “Money For Nothing,” a Dire Straits hit that had been released just weeks earlier. The original recording featured Sting on backing vocals and was co-written by him and Dire Straits’ frontman Mark Knopfler.

As they took the stage at Wembley Stadium to the cheers of 72,000 fans, Sting kicked off the song with the famous line, “I want my MTV,” while Dire Straits prepared to play. Drummer Terry Williams delivered some incredible fills, and then Knopfler launched into the song’s instantly recognizable riff, prompting the audience to raise their hands in celebration and everyone on stage to start dancing.

Throughout the performance, it was clear this duet had stood the test of time. The energy on stage was electric, and Knopfler’s vocals sounded fantastic, especially with his rapport with both the crowd and his bandmates. His guitar playing was dynamic and powerful. Sting, dressed in a white kaftan shirt and trousers, brought an edge to the performance with his earnest singing style.

Many people are familiar with the original version of “Money For Nothing,” which reached the top 10 in several countries. But did you know the music video was also groundbreaking? It featured some of the earliest uses of 3D computer animation to illustrate the lyrics and won two MTV Video Awards (Video of the Year and Best Group Video). It was also the first video shown on MTV Europe when the channel launched in 1987.

Dire Straits and Sting’s live performance of “Money For Nothing” at Live Aid in 1985 was a masterclass in musicianship, stage presence, and entertainment. It’s no surprise that the video has amassed over 63 million views on YouTube since its upload in 2018, cementing its place in the history of popular music.

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