The Gazette hall of fame: Mick Jagger

A microphoneMick Jagger, one of the most influential frontmen in the history of rock music, has entertained fans for more than 5 decades. He was knighted in June 2002 for services to music, having enjoyed worldwide success with the Rolling Stones.

Michael Phillip Jagger was born on 26 July 1943 in Dartford, Kent. His father was a teacher, and his mother was a hairdresser. As a child, he loved music, endlessly seeking out rock and roll on his family’s wireless. A keen singer, he was encouraged to join the local church choir. He bought his first guitar at the age of 14, and started a band called Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys, inspired by American rhythm and blues.

A model student, Jagger was accepted into the London School of Economics (LSE), commuting to the capital from his family home. However, after a chance encounter with an old school friend, Keith Richards, on the Dartford to London line, the pair discovered a mutual love of blues music, and decided to get together to write songs and play guitar.

Formed in 1962, the Rolling Stones comprised Mick on lead vocals and harmonica, Keith Richards and Brian Jones on guitar, Bill Wyman on bass, and Charlie Watts on drums. After a few gigs, they were spotted and signed to Decca Records, a label that had missed out on signing the Beatles. By autumn 1963, Jagger had left LSE in favour of a promising musical career.

The Stones released their first album, The Rolling Stones, in 1964, and reached number 1 in 1965 with The Last Time and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. These songs established the Rolling Stones' image as defiant troublemakers, which contrasted with the Beatles' more lovable image.

The 1970s saw hits with Wild Horses, Brown Sugar and Angie, as well as the introduction of the iconic lips logo. In the 1980s, a feud between Jagger and Richards about the band's musical direction almost caused a split, but they managed to patch their relationship, and had a big comeback with the album Steel Wheels in 1989. After the album was released, the band went on a major worldwide tour, including concerts held at London’s Wembley Stadium.

In 1994, the album Voodoo Lounge was released to critical acclaim, going double platinum in the US (with over 2 million sold). The Voodoo Lounge tour was the biggest tour in rock history, earning the band more than £300 million. In 2002, the band released Forty Licks, a greatest hits album, which led to a tour of North America, South America and Asia.

In 2011, Jagger was voted the 16th greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, and cited as being a key influence on Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and Jack White.

Jagger has been married twice and has 7 children – Karis (1970), Jade (1971), Elizabeth (1984), James (1985), Georgia (1992), Gabriel (1997) and Lucas (1999) – and 4 grandchildren.

In the Queen’s 2002 birthday honours, Jagger was appointed a Knight Bachelor for services to music (Gazette issue 56595). The ceremony took place on 12 December 2003, and he said: “It's very nice to have honours given to you as long as you don't take it all too seriously."

Jagger’s father, Basil, and daughters, Karis and Elizabeth, were in attendance.