Sir Mick Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent.
Jagger was born into a comfortable middle class environment. His father, Basil, was a teacher and his mother was a hairdresser. Jagger was the eldest of three sons and showed a passion for singing from an early age. “I was always a singer. I always sang as a child. I was one of those kids who just liked to sing,” Jagger is quoted as saying, in the book ‘According To The Rolling Stones’. “Some kids sing in choirs, others like to show off in front of the mirror. I was in the church choir and I also loved listening to singers on the radio – the BBC or Radio Luxembourg – or watching them on TV and in the movies.”
In 1960, while on the train to the London School of Economics, where he was studying, Jagger had a chance meeting with an old school friend, Keith Richards, who was attending Sidcup Art School. The pair soon discovered they had a mutual love of the American R n B artists of the time, and before long they had moved into a flat together in Chelsea, London.
Jagger and Richards began playing with their flatmate, Brian Jones, in various jazz clubs around London, and reportedly performed for the first time under the name ‘The Rollin’ Stones’ in The Marquee Club, on the 12th of July 1962. Eventually joined on drums by Charlie Watts and bass by Bill Wyman, the group began playing regularly around London, including an eighth month residency in the Crawdaddy Club, which was owned by the band’s first manager Giorgio Gomelsky.
After primarily releasing and performing covers from the early rock n roll pioneers such as Little Richard and Buddy Holly, Jagger and Richards began to write their own music together. In ‘According To The Rolling Stones’, Jagger recalls how the partnership began: “Keith likes to tell the story about the kitchen, God bless him. I think Andrew (Stones manager Andrew Oldham) may have said something at some point along the lines of ‘I should lock you in a room until you’ve written a song’ and in that way he did mentally lock us in a room, but he didn’t literally lock us in. One of the first songs we came out with was that tune for George Bean, the very memorable ‘It Should Be You’.”
It wasn’t long before the two songwriters began writing what would become classic tunes. The first Stones UK number one penned by the pair was ‘The Last Time’, released in February 1965. It was the precursor for a long and successful collaboration which would see the The Rolling Stones become one of the biggest and most successful rock bands of all time. The pair’s second UK no.1, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, was the band’s first international hit, and classic albums such as ‘Sticky Fingers’, ‘Let It Bleed’ and ‘Exile On Main St.’ were almost exclusively made up of Jagger/Richards compositions.
In 1971, Jagger married for the first time, to Bianca Macias, who he met at a party in September 1970, they divorced in 1979. In 1990, he married model Jerry Hall, whom he had been seeing since the late seventies. The marriage was annulled in 1999.
Jagger was knighted at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in December 2003. His decision to accept the knighthood raised eyebrows amongst some fans, and it seems, band mates. Keith Richards called it a ‘fucking paltry honour’ and stated he did not want to share a stage with someone wearing ‘the old ermine’. However, Jagger shrugged off any criticism, and said of Richards: “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. It’s nothing new. Keith likes to make a fuss.”
As well as his huge success with The Rolling Stones, Jagger has dabbled in the acting world, appearing in a dozen or so movies including ‘Performance’ and ‘Ned Kelly’. He founded Jagged Films in 1995, which produced it’s first film in 2001 – the World War II drama ‘Enigma’.
Jagger continues to tour with The Rolling Stones, with record breaking results. Their 2005 ‘Bigger Bang’ tour broke all box office records, and he has amassed a personal fortune worth over £220m.