Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger
(born 26 July 1943) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known as the lead vocalist and a founder member of the Rolling Stones.Jagger's career has spanned over 50 years, and he has been described as "one of the most popular and influential frontmen in the history of rock & roll". His distinctive voice and performance, along with Keith Richards' guitar style, have been the trademark of the Rolling Stones throughout the career of the band. Jagger gained much press notoriety for admitted drug use and romantic involvements, and was often portrayed as a countercultural figure. In the late 1960s Jagger began acting in films (starting with Performance
and Ned Kelly
), to mixed reception. In 1985, Jagger released his first solo album, She's the Boss
. In early 2009, he joined the electric supergroup SuperHeavy.In 1989 Jagger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Rolling Stones. In 2003 he was knighted for his services to music.1960sIn their earliest days; the members played for no money in the interval of Alexis Korner's gigs at a basement club opposite Ealing Broadway tube station (subsequently called "Ferry's" club). At the time, the group had very little equipment and needed to borrow Alexis' gear to play. This was before Andrew Loog Oldham became their manager.The group's first appearance under the name the Rollin' Stones (after one of their favourite Muddy Waters tunes) was at the Marquee Club, a jazz club, on 12 July 1962. They would later change their name to "the Rolling Stones" as it seemed more formal. Victor Bockris states that the band members included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart on piano, Dick Taylor on bass and Tony Chapman on drums. However, Richards states in Life
, "The drummer that night was Mick Avory—not Tony Chapman, as history has mysteriously handed it down..." Mick Avory himself, however, has categorically denied "on many occasions" that he played with the Rollin' Stones that night. In fact he only rehearsed twice with them in the Bricklayers Arms pub, before they became known as the Rollin' Stones. Some time later, the band went on their first tour in the United Kingdom; this was known as the "training ground" tour because it was a new experience for all of them. The line-up did not at that time include drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Bill Wyman. By 1963, they were finding their stride as well as popularity. By 1964, two unscientific opinion polls rated them as Britain's most popular group, outranking even the Beatles.By the autumn of 1963, Jagger had left the London School of Economics in favour of his promising musical career with the Rolling Stones. The group continued to mine the works of American rhythm and blues artists such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, but with the strong encouragement of Andrew Loog Oldham, Jagger and Richards soon began to write their own songs. This core songwriting partnership would flourish in time; one of their early compositions, "As Tears Go By", was a song written for Marianne Faithfull, a young singer being promoted by Loog Oldham at the time. For the Rolling Stones, the duo would write "The Last Time", the group's third number-one single in the UK (their first two UK number-one hits had been cover versions) based on This May Be the Last Time
, a traditional negro spiritual song recorded by the Staple Singers in 1955. Another of the fruits of this collaboration was their first international hit, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". It also established the Rolling Stones' image as defiant troublemakers in contrast to the Beatles' "lovable moptop" image.Jagger told Stephen Schiff in a 1992 Vanity Fair
profile: "I wasn't trying to be rebellious in those days; I was just being me. I wasn't trying to push the edge of anything. I'm being me and ordinary, the guy from suburbia who sings in this band, but someone older might have thought it was just the most awful racket, the most terrible thing, and where are we going if this is music?... But all those songs we sang were pretty tame, really. People didn't think they were, but I thought they were tame."The group released several successful albums including December's Children (And Everybody's)
, and Between the Buttons
, but in their personal lives and behavior were brought into question. In 1967, Jagger and Richards were arrested on drug charges and were given unusually harsh sentences: Jagger was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for possession of four over-the-counter pep pills he had purchased in Italy. On appeal, Richards' sentence was overturned and Jagger's was amended to a conditional discharge (he ended up spending one night inside Brixton Prison) after an article appeared in the Times
, written by its traditionally conservative editor William (now Lord) Rees-Mogg, but the Rolling Stones continued to face legal battles for the next decade. Around the same time, internal struggles about the direction of the group had begun to surface.
In 1970, Jagger bought Stargroves, a manor house and estate in Hampshire. The Rolling Stones and several other bands recorded there using a mobile studio.After Jones's death and their move in 1971 to the south of France as tax exiles, Jagger and the rest of the band changed their look and style as the 1970s progressed. He also learned to play guitar and contributed guitar parts for certain songs on Sticky Fingers
(1971) and all subsequent albums (with the exception of Dirty Work
in 1986). For the Rolling Stones' highly publicised 1972 American tour, Jagger wore glam-rock clothing and glittery makeup on stage. Later in the decade, they ventured into genres like disco and punk with the album Some Girls
(1978). Their interest in the blues, however, had been made manifest in the 1972 album Exile on Main St
. His emotional singing on the gospel-influenced "Let It Loose", one of the album's tracks, has been described by music critic Russell Hall as having been Jagger's finest ever vocal achievement.After the band's acrimonious split with their second manager, Allen Klein, in 1971, Jagger took control of their business affairs after speaking with an up-and-coming front man, JB Silver, and has managed them ever since in collaboration with his friend and colleague, Rupert Löwenstein. Mick Taylor, Brian Jones's replacement, left the band in December 1974 and was replaced by Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood in 1975, who also operated as a mediator within the group, and between Jagger and Richards in particular.
While continuing to tour and release albums with the Rolling Stones, Jagger began a solo career. In 1985, he released his first solo album She's the Boss
produced by Nile Rodgers and Bill Laswell, featuring Herbie Hancock, Jeff Beck, Jan Hammer, Pete Townshend and the Compass Point All Stars. It sold fairly well, and the single "Just Another Night" was a Top Ten hit. During this period, he collaborated with the Jacksons on the song "State of Shock", sharing lead vocals with Michael Jackson. For his own personal contributions in the 1985 Live Aid multi-venue charity concert, he performed at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium; he did a duet with Tina Turner of "It's Only Rock and Roll", and the performance was highlighted by Jagger tearing away Turner's skirt. He also did a cover of "Dancing in the Street" with David Bowie, who himself appeared at Wembley Stadium. The video was shown simultaneously on the screens of both Wembley and JFK Stadiums. The song reached number one in the UK the same year.In 1987, he released his second solo album, Primitive Cool
. While it failed to match the commercial success of his debut, it was critically well received.In 1988, he produced the songs "Glamour Boys" and "Which Way to America" on Living Colour's album Vivid
. 15–28 March, he had a solo concert tour in Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka). The 22 March show was the Japanese artist Tokyo Dome's first performance.
was the third solo album by Jagger and was released in 1993. It would be his only solo album release of the 1990s. Jagger aimed to re-introduce himself as a solo artist in a musical climate vastly changed from that of his first two albums, She's the Boss
and Primitive Cool
.Following the successful comeback of the Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels
(1989), which saw the end of Jagger and Richards' well-publicised feud, Jagger began routining new material for what would become Wandering Spirit
. In January 1992, after acquiring Rick Rubin as co-producer, Jagger recorded the album in Los Angeles over seven months until September 1992, recording simultaneously as Richards was making Main Offender
.Jagger would keep the celebrity guests to a minimum on Wandering Spirit
, only having Lenny Kravitz as a vocalist on his cover of Bill Withers' "Use Me" and bassist Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers on three tracks.Following the end of the Rolling Stones' Sony Music contract and their signing to Virgin Records, Jagger signed with Atlantic Records (which had signed the Stones in the 1970s) to distribute what would be his only album with the label.Released in February 1993, Wandering Spirit
was commercially successful, reaching No.12 in the UK and No.11 in the US, going gold there. The track "Sweet Thing" was the lead single, although it was the third single, "Don't Tear Me Up", which found moderate success, topping Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart for one week.
In 2001, Jagger released Goddess in the Doorway
spawning the hit single "Visions of Paradise". In the same year, he also joined Keith Richards in the Concert for New York City, a charity concert in response to the 11 September attacks, to sing "Salt of the Earth" and "Miss You".He celebrated the Rolling Stones' 40th anniversary by touring with them on the year-long Licks Tour in support of their career retrospective Forty Licks
double album.In 2007, the Rolling Stones made US$437 million on their A Bigger Bang Tour, which got them into the current edition of Guinness World Records
for the most lucrative music tour. Jagger has refused to say when the band will retire, stating in 2007: "I'm sure the Rolling Stones will do more things and more records and more tours. We've got no plans to stop any of that really."In October 2009, Jagger and U2 performed "Gimme Shelter" (with Fergie and will.i.am) and "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" at the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert.
On 20 May 2011, Jagger announced the formation of a new supergroup, SuperHeavy, which includes Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and A.R. Rahman.Jagger has featured on will.i.am's 2011 single "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)". It was officially released to iTunes on 4 February 2012.On 21 February 2012, Mick Jagger, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck along with a blues ensemble performed at the White House concert series before President Barack Obama. When Jagger held out a mic to him, Obama sang twice the line "Come on, baby don't you want to go" of the blues cover 'Sweet Home Chicago', the blues anthem of Obama's home town.Jagger hosted the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" on 19 and 20 May 2012, doing several comic skits and playing some of the Rolling Stones' hits with Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, and Jeff Beck.Jagger performed in 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief with the Rolling Stones on 12 December 2012.The Stones finally played at the famous Glastonbury festival in 2013, headlining on Saturday 29 June.The Stones will also be playing at Pinkpop, on 7 June 2014 and TW Classic.RelationshipsJagger has been married twice and has had several other relationships.From 1966 to 1970 he had a relationship with the singer, songwriter and actress Marianne Faithfull, with whom he co-wrote "Sister Morphine", a song on the Rolling Stones' 1971 album Sticky Fingers
.In 1970 he met Nicaraguan-born Bianca De Macias. They married on 12 May 1971 in a Catholic ceremony in Saint-Tropez, France. The couple separated in 1977, and in May 1978 she filed for divorce on the grounds of his adultery. Later she was reported to have said: "My marriage ended on my wedding day."In late 1977 Jagger began seeing model Jerry Hall, and they later lived together and had four children. They were married on 21 November 1990 in a Hindu beach ceremony in Indonesia, and lived at Downe House in Richmond, London. Jagger contested the validity of the wedding ceremony, and the marriage was annulled in August 1999.Jagger had a relationship with fashion designer L'Wren Scott from 2001 until her death in 2014. She left her entire estate, estimated at about US$9 million, to him.
Jagger has seven children with four women:He also has four grandchildren, and expects to become a great-grandfather in 2014 through his granddaughter Assisi, who is the daughter of Jade Jagger.
His father, Joe, died of pneumonia on 11 November 2006, at the age of 93. Although the Rolling Stones were on the A Bigger Bang Tour, Jagger flew to Britain on Friday to see his father before returning to Las Vegas the same day, where he was to perform on Saturday night. The show went ahead as scheduled.In 2008, it was revealed that members of the Hells Angels had plotted to murder Jagger in 1975. They were angered by Jagger's public blaming of the Hells Angels, who had been hired to provide security at the Altamont Free Concert in December 1969, for much of the crowd violence at the event. The conspirators reportedly used a boat to approach a residence where Jagger was staying on Long Island, New York; the plot failed when the boat was nearly sunk by a storm.Jagger is an avid cricket fan. He founded Jagged Internetworks so he could get coverage of English cricket.His personal fortune was estimated in 2010, at £190 million (~$298 million US).
In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2002 Jagger was appointed a Knight Bachelor for services to music
and on 12 December 2003 he was knighted by HRH The Prince of Wales. Mick Jagger's knighthood received mixed reactions. Some fans were disappointed when he accepted the honour as it seemed to contradict his anti-establishment stance.As United Press International noted, the honour is odd, for unlike other knighted rock musicians, he has no "known record of charitable work or public services," although he is a patron of the British Museum. Jagger was on record as saying "apart from the Rolling Stones, the Queen is the best thing Britain has got" but was absent from the Queen's Golden Jubilee pop concert at Buckingham Palace that marked her 50 years on the throne.Charlie Watts was quoted in the book According to the Rolling Stones
as saying, "Anybody else would be lynched: 18 wives and 20 children and he's knighted, fantastic!" The ceremony took place in December 2003. Jagger’s father and daughters Karis and Elizabeth were in attendance.Jagger's knighthood also caused some friction between him and bandmate Keith Richards, who was irritated when Jagger accepted the "paltry honour". Richards said that he did not want to take the stage with someone wearing a "coronet and sporting the old ermine. It's not what the Stones is about, is it?" Jagger retorted: "I think he would probably like to get the same honour himself. It's like being given an ice cream—one gets one and they all want one."
In popular culture
From the time that the Rolling Stones developed their anti-establishment image in the mid-1960s, Mick Jagger, with guitarist Keith Richards, has been an enduring icon of the counterculture. This was enhanced by his controversial drug-related arrests, sexually charged on-stage antics, provocative song lyrics, and his role of the bisexual Turner in the 1970 film Performance
. One of his biographers, Christopher Andersen, describes him as "one of the dominant cultural figures of our time", adding that Jagger was "the story of a generation".Jagger, who at the time described himself as an anarchist and espoused the leftist slogans of the era, took part in a demonstration against the Vietnam War outside the US Embassy in London in 1968. This event inspired him to write "Street Fighting Man" that same year.A variety of celebrities attended a lavish party at New York's St. Regis Hotel to celebrate Jagger's 29th birthday and the end of the band's 1972 American tour. The party made the front pages of the leading New York newspapers.Pop artist Andy Warhol painted a series of silkscreen portraits of Jagger in 1975, one of which was owned by Farah Diba, wife of the Shah of Iran. It hung on a wall inside the royal palace in Tehran. In 1967, Cecil Beaton photographed Jagger's naked buttocks, a photo that sold at Sotheby's auction house in 1986 for $4,000.Jagger was allegedly a contender for the anonymous subject of Carly Simon's 1973 hit song "You're So Vain", in which he sings backing vocals. Although Don McLean does not use Jagger's name in his famous song "American Pie", he alludes to Jagger onstage at Altamont, calling him Satan.Jagger's spirited vocal delivery is recognised by rapper Kanye West during the first verse of the 2008 T.I. and Jay-Z single "Swagga Like Us".In 2010, a retrospective exhibition of portraits of Mick Jagger was presented at the festival Rencontres d'Arles, in France. The catalogue of the exhibition is the first photo album of Mick Jagger and shows his evolution over 50 years. He was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian
in March 2013.Maroon 5's popular song "Moves like Jagger" is about Jagger. Jagger himself acknowledged the song in an interview, calling the concept "very flattering." Jagger is also referenced in Kesha's song "Tik Tok" and the Black Eyed Peas' hit "The Time (Dirty Bit)".
In the words of British dramatist and novelist Philip Norman, "the only point concerning Mick Jagger's influence over 'young people' that doctors and psychologists agreed on was that it wasn't, under any circumstances, fundamentally harmless." According to Norman, even Elvis Presley at his most scandalous had not exerted a "power so wholly and disturbingly physical": "Presley", he wrote in 1984, "while he made girls scream, did not have Jagger's ability to make men feel uncomfortable." Norman also associates the early performances of Jagger with the Rolling Stones in the 1960s as a male ballet dancer, with "his conflicting and colliding sexuality: the swan's neck and smeared harlot eyes allied to an overstuffed and straining codpiece."Other authors also attribute similar connotations to Jagger. His performance style has been studied in the academic field as an analysis concerning gender, image and sexuality. It has been written for example that his performance style "opened up definitions of gendered masculinity and so laid the foundations for self-invention and sexual plasticity which are now an integral part of contemporary youth culture". His stage personas also contributed significantly to the British tradition of popular music that always featured the character song and where the art of singing becomes a matter of acting—which creates a question concerning the singer's relationship to his own words. His voice, often cited as "thin and unexceptional", has been described as a powerful expressive tool for communicating feelings to his audience and expressing an alternative vision of society. In order to express "virility and unrestrained passion" he developed techniques previously used by African American preachers and gospel singers such as "the roar, the guttural belt style of singing, and the buzz, a more nasal and raspy sound". Steven Van Zandt also wrote: "The acceptance of Jagger's voice on pop radio was a turning point in rock & roll. He broke open the door for everyone else. Suddenly, Eric Burdon and Van Morrison weren't so weird – even Bob Dylan."Allmusic has described Jagger as "one of the most popular and influential frontmen in the history of rock & roll". In fact, musicians such as David Bowie joined many rock bands with blues, folk and soul orientations in his first attempts as a musician in the mid-1960s, and he was to recall: "I used to dream of being their Mick Jagger". Lenny Kravitz, in the Rolling Stone
magazine edition for their List of 100 Greatest Singers, in which Jagger was placed in 16º, wrote: "I sometimes talk to people who sing perfectly in a technical sense who don't understand Mick Jagger. [...\] His sense of pitch and melody is really sophisticated. His vocals are stunning, flawless in their own kind of perfection." This edition also cites Mick Jagger as a key influence on Jack White, Steven Tyler and Iggy Pop.More recently, his cultural legacy is also associated with his ageing accompanied by some vitality. Bon Jovi frontman Jon Bon Jovi, also a veteran, has said: "We continue to make Number One records and fill stadiums. But will we still be doing 150 shows per tour? I just can't see it. I don't know how the hell Mick Jagger does it at 67. That would be the first question I'd ask him. He runs around the stage as much as I do yet he's got almost 20 years on me." Since his early career, Jagger embodied what some authors describes as a "Dionysian archetype" of "eternal youth" personified by many rock stars and the rock culture. As wrote biographer Laura Jackson, "It is impossible to imagine current culture without the unique influence of Mick Jagger."