The Rolling Stones are an English rock group formed in London in April 1962 by guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart, singer Mick Jagger and guitar player Keith Richards. bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early lineup. American rhythm & blues and blues cover songs dominated The Rolling Stones’ early material, but from the start they have included rock and roll in their repertoire. The Rolling Stones are credited for raising the international regard for the primitive blues typified by Chess Records’ performers such as Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters, the latter of whom wrote the song “Rollin’ Stone”, after which the band is named.
Jones initially led the band, but after teaming as songwriters, Jagger and Richards assumed leadership. By 1969 Jones had lost interest in guitar, and despite becoming the band’s utility player performing recorder, marimbas and sitar among other instruments, his contributions to the band diminished. Because he was legally barred from entering the United States, nor in good enough health to tour, by mutual agreement Jones exited the band, and Mick Taylor replaced him. Within weeks of leaving the band, Jones drowned. Taylor quit in 1974 and was took the place by Ronnie Wood. Wyman retired from the ensemble in 1993, and his replacement Darryl Jones became the primary bassist, but not a full member. Stewart was taken from the official group in 1963 to continue as the band’s road manager and occasional keyboardist until his death in 1985. Since 1982 Chuck Leavell has been the band’s primary keyboardist.
After gaining popularity in Europe, The Rolling Stones became successful in North America while the so-called British Invasion of the mid 1960s. They have released 22 studio albums in the United Kingdom (24 in the United States), eight concert albums (nine in the US) and numerous compilations; their worldwide sales are estimated at more than 200 million albums. Sticky Fingers (1971) started a string of eight consecutive studio copies reaching number one in the United States. Their most recent album of entirely new material, A Bigger Bang, was gave us in 2005. In 1989 the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 they ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest artists of All Time. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists”, and as the second most successful ensemble in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.