July 26: Sir Michael Philip Jagger - AKA Mick Jagger - is 68-years-old today.

Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger was born into a middle class in Dartford, Kent, England. In the book According to the Rolling Stones, Jagger states "I was always a singer. I always sang as a child. I was one of those kids who just liked to sing..."

From September 1950, Keith Richards and Jagger (known as "Mike" to his friends) were classmates at Wentworth Primary School in Dartford, Kent. lost contact with each other when they went to different schools, Richards and Jagger resumed their friendship in July 1960 after a chance encounter and discovered that they had both developed a love for rhythm and blues music, which began for Jagger with Little Richard.

Jagger left school in 1961. He and Richards moved into a flat in Edith Grove in Chelsea with a guitarist they had encountered named Brian Jones. While Richards and Jones were making plans to start their own rhythm and blues group, Jagger continued his business courses at the London School of Economics, and had seriously considered becoming either a journalist or a politician. Jagger had compared the latter to a pop star.

In the early days, they 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 gear to play. This was before Andrew Loog Oldham became their manager.

The group’s first appearance under the name The Rollin' Stones (which Brian Jones came up with after a Muddy Waters tune,) was at the Marquee Club, a jazz club, on July 12, 1962. They would later change their name to “The Rolling Stones.” The band members included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart on piano, Dick Taylor on bass and Tony Chapman or Mick Avory on drums. By 1963, they were finding their stride as well as popularity. By 1964, two unscientific opinion polls rated them as England's most popular group, outranking even the Beatles. They added Charlie Watts on drums, and Bill Wyman on bass.


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Very Best of Mick JaggerExile on Main Street
Hot Rocks (1964-1971)

By the autumn of 1963, Jagger had left the London School of Economics in favor of a music career. The group continued to mine the works of American rhythm and blues artists such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. Beginning in 1964, Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards developed a songwriting partnership with the strong encouragement of Andrew Loog Oldham, Jagger and Richards soon began to write their own songs.

Their first composition, "As Tears Go By," was given to a young singer, and later Mick's girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull. For the Rolling Stones, the duo would write "The Last Time," the group's third number-one single in the UK after two covers. Another early hit from their collaboration was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." It also established The Rolling Stones’ image as defiant troublemakers in contrast to The Beatles' image.

By the mid-1960s the Stones became a major rock band. Frequent conflict with the authorities (including alleged drug use and his romantic involvements) ensured that during this time Jagger was never far from the headlines, and he was often portrayed as a counterculture figure. 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... all those songs we sang were pretty tame, really."

The group released several successful albums including December's Children (And Everybody's), Aftermath, and Between the Buttons, but their reputations were catching up to them. In 1967, Jagger and Richards were arrested on drug charges and were given 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. 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.

After Jones' 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. 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 1978 album Some Girls. Their interest in the blues, however, came through with their 1972 album Exile on Main St.

After the band's acrimonious split with their second manager, Allen Klein, in 1971, Jagger took control of their business affairs with his friend 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. 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.

He did a duet with Tina Turner of "It's Only Rock and Roll," and the performance was highlighted by Jagger tearing away a part of Turner's dress. He also did a cover of "Dancing in the Street" with David Bowie.

In 1987, he released his second solo album, Primitive Cool. It failed to match the commercial success of his debut. Wandering Spirit 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 what had witnessed the release of his first two projects.


On December 12, 2003, Jagger was knighted for Services to Music, as Sir Michael Jagger by 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.

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?" He thought it was odd that Jagger would accept the honor from the same peole who tried to get him kicked out of the country decades earlier. Stull, Richards, despite fierce criticism of Jagger in his bes-selling autobiography, Life, said he and Jagger would "always be best mates."

Jagger said in response; "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."