Stewart Copeland would hardly be the first rock star who set his sights on the movies, but unlike most he didn't go into acting; Copeland used his success as drummer with '80s hit-makers The Police as a springboard for a second career composing scores for feature films.
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Born in Egypt in 1952, Stewart Copeland was the son of an American CIA officer who grew up in a variety of locations in the Middle East. After attending college in the United States, Copeland moved to England and began pursuing a career as a musician. Copeland spent several years playing with the progressive rock band Curved Air before dipping his toes into the U.K.'s booming New Wave scene in 1977 by forming the Police with bassist Gordon Sumner (better known by his stage name, Sting). In 1979, the Police scored their first hit, "Roxanne", and the group enjoyed a long string of chart successes (including "Message in a Bottle," "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da," "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," and "Every Breath You Take") before breaking up at the peak of their fame in 1985.
Copeland began making noises on his own long before the Police broke up, cutting several eccentric pop records under the name Klark Kent, and in 1983 he was hired by Francis Ford Coppola to compose the score for his edgy teen drama Rumble Fish. After the breakup of the Police, Copeland recorded a pair of albums with his jazz-pop trio Animal Logic, and wrote original dance pieces for ballet companies in San Francisco and Oklahoma, but film scores became the primary focus of his musical career. Between 1988 and 1999, Copeland wrote music for over 40 film and television projects, working with a wide variety of directors that included Ken Loach, John Hughes, Oliver Stone, and John Waters. Stewart Copeland also wrote the theme music for the popular television series The Equalizer, and made a cameo appearance on the show in 1987 as a thief.