Bowie and Sting set to launch burlesque bar
Rock legends Sting and David Bowie, who have a combined fortune of £287 million, are collaborating on a surprising new project - a New York burlesque club.
The pair have both confirmed they are in talks about financing a new venue in the city.
They were approached to invest in the venture by nightclub entrepreneur Ivan Kane, who wants to expand his existing chain of Forty Deuce clubs into Manhattan. He has even identified a potential venue, on West 21st Street and 10th Avenue in th fashionable Chelsea district.
Burlesque - based on the erotic cabarets that scandalised Parisian society between the wars - is now enjoying a fashionable revival thanks to its mix of old Hollywood glamour and postmodern fetishim. Its biggest star is Dita Von Teese, wife of rocker Marilyn Manson.
Kane describes his existing venues in Hollywood and Las Vegas as "intimate, classy lounges where women titillate," adding that they
are "pushing the envelope in terms of sexuality, decadence and voyeurism".
Sting, whose hits include An Englishman In New York, is a regular visitor to Manhattan's strip clubs with his 51-year-old wife Trudie Styler, and has spoken of his admiration for strippers and prostitutes.
He once said: "No one could call me reactionary or dull. I've never met a whore I didn't like."
Lonnie Hanover, owner of Manhattan lap-dancing club Scores, told how Trudie often buys her husband dances: "Sting has been a regular for more than ten years. He often comes in with Trudie and he is very popular with the girls."
Sting, 54, earned himself a reputation for being a perfect gentleman with the strippers - by asking the girls to keep their clothes on when they perform.
Bowie, who had a well-deserved reputation as a hell raiser during his Seventies heyday, does not share Sting's appetite for strip clubs. At 59, he now lives a quieter life in New York with his wife, Somalian model Iman, and five-year-old daughter Alexandria.
Forty Deuce's Los Angeles club is a favourite with the stars, and boasts regular visits from Mick Jagger, George Clooney and Playboy owner Hugh Hefner. While the clubs are renowned for their tantalising striptease shows, a spokesman said: "There is no actual nudity involved in the dances.
"The girls, who are handpicked from around the world by Ivan and his muse Champagne Suzy, perform in sexy outfits, but only strip down to reveal flesh coloured bras and panties."
Both Sting and David Bowie's publicists confirmed that they were in talks with Kane over backing the planned strip joint. A spokesman for Bowie said: "I know that David has been approached by Ivan Kane, but as yet nothing has been signed."
And Sting's American publicist said: "Ivan Kane has offered Sting the investment, and while he is considering it, to date he has not signed any documents."