Mick Jagger Turns 80: A Look Back at His Illustrious Career

July 26 is Mick Jagger’s birthday, and this year the legend turns 80!

Jagger’s career has spanned a whopping six decades and includes a host of impressive achievements. Jagger’s name is synonymous with The Rolling Stones, one of the biggest rock bands in music history. During his time as The Rolling Stones’ frontman, the band has sold over 100 million records worldwide. Independently, Jagger has collaborated with various world-renowned artists, made his mark on the film industry, and even has a species of snail named after him!


Hear The Rolling Stones’ greatest hits & more on Classic Vinyl (Ch. 26)


Look at Mick Jagger’s life and work in celebration of his 80th birthday.

Early Life

Sir Michael Philip Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent, on July 26, 1943, to a former gymnast and a hairdresser. He discovered his passion for singing early on and joined his church choir. Jagger met his future bandmate Keith Richards at the age of seven when the two were in the same class at school.

The Rolling Stones

After dropping out of his finance degree at the London School of Economics, Jagger started jamming in London with friends. He performed with a variety of up-and-coming musicians of the time, including the members of what would become the original Rolling Stones line-up.

The band officially formed in 1962 and played in clubs and pubs throughout London before touring the UK. The band’s initial style was derived from Chicago blues, a genre that would greatly inspire their famous rock ‘n’ roll sound. They covered several songs from Chicago blues artists including Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley. And despite Mick Jagger and Keith Richards eventually becoming one of the world’s greatest songwriting duos, the band’s first two UK No. 1 singles were actually covers.

As their songwriting skills developed, Jagger and Richards began to create original hits which would soon define the band’s sound and legacy. Their first original UK No. 1 hit didn’t come until 1965 when Jagger and Richards wrote “The Last Time,” which reached No. 9 in America.

Impact on the Music Industry

In June 1965, everything changed. The song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” reached No. 1 in 13 countries, including the UK and the USA, and there was no looking back for Jagger and the band.

In the US, they went on to get eight No. 1 singles and nine No. 1 albums. Their music gained them several accolades including three GRAMMY Awards and even a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award. To this day, the Rolling Stones are celebrated for their contributions to rock ‘n’ roll, including their classic hits like “Paint it Black,” “Start Me Up,” and “Gimme Shelter.”

As the charismatic frontman, Jagger is known for his rebellious spirit, dynamic and distinctive voice, and iconic dance moves. Check out Mick Jagger discussing his dancing on The Howard Stern Show!

Live Aid

Mick Jagger was a prominent figure during the legendary 1985 Live Aid charity concert. He performed an energetic solo set and also joined the inimitable Tina Turner on stage for a memorable duet.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 

In 1989, The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, further solidifying their status as one of the most influential bands in the history of rock music.

Copacabana Beach

A career highlight for Jagger and The Rolling Stones was their performance at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2006. The concert drew an estimated crowd of a whopping 1.5 million people — making it the 7th highest-attended show in music concert history.

Super Bowl XL Halftime Show

Jagger and The Rolling Stones performed on one of entertainment’s biggest stages at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2006. The band gave an electric performance, and Jagger showcased his excellent sense of humor, joking that “Satisfaction” was released so long ago, it could have been performed at Superbowl I.

Famous Collaborations

Throughout his career, Jagger has worked with various artists outside of The Rolling Stones. Some of his most notable collaborations include “Dancing in the Street” with David Bowie, “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)” with will.i.am and Jennifer Lopez, and “Old Habits Die Hard” with Sheryl Crow.

Jagger also formed SuperHeavy, a supergroup consisting of Joss Stone, Damian Marley, A.R. Rahman, and Dave Stewart.

Hollywood

In addition to his music career, Jagger has had a successful run in the film industry, both as an actor and as a producer.

He has appeared in movies such as Performance (1970), Ned Kelly (1970), and The Man from Elysian Fields (2001). He founded Jagged Films, a production company responsible for films such as Enigma (2001). Jagger also co-created the 2016 HBO drama Vinyl alongside Martin Scorsese, Rich Cohen, and Terence Winter.

Saturday Night Live

Jagger has appeared on Saturday Night Live several times, both as a host and as a musical guest. Each time, he showcased his versatility and charisma whilst performing at the famous Studio 8H. Watch his hilarious sketch with Jimmy Fallon below!

Knighthood

In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Mick Jagger a knighthood for his services to popular music, further recognizing his immense contributions to the industry.

Throughout his career, Jagger has made his mark on the music industry, the film industry, and the world. As he turns 80, Mick Jagger’s legacy as a rock ‘n’ roll icon remains undisputed, and his influence on future generations of musicians will undoubtedly continue. Join us in wishing Mick Jagger a happy 80th birthday!

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