Music News from ABC

Happy 80th birthday, Keith Richards

ABC/ Craig Sjodin

Mick Jagger is no longer the only octogenarian in The Rolling Stones. Legendary guitarist Keith Richards turns the big 8-0 on December 18, joining his bandmate and songwriting partner, who celebrated the milestone birthday in July.

Born in Dartford, England, Richards attended primary school with Jagger in the ’50s, but they’d lost touch until a chance meeting at a train station led to the musical partnership that went on to become The Rolling Stones.

In their more than 60-year career, The Stones have become one of the bestselling artists of all time and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. They’ve had nine Billboard #1 albums and eight #1 singles, selling over 200 million records; they are still recording to this day, releasing their new album, Hackney Diamonds, in October. They are also known as one of the best live acts in the business and are headed back out on tour in April.

The fact that Richards has not only made it to 80, but is still performing, is something most people can’t believe, considering his reputation for substance abuse in the ’60s and ’70s. He eventually cleaned up his act, recently revealing he’s given up most of his vices, including cigarettes, which he quit in 2020.

Outside of The Stones, Richards has released three solo albums and has also toured with his side project, The X-Pensive Winos. Richards’ mannerisms inspired Johnny Depp‘s Pirates of the Caribbean character, Jack Sparrow, with Richards appearing in three of the films as Sparrow’s dad. 

Richards has been married to model Patti Hansen since 1983, and they have two daughters together. He also has two children with his former partner, Italian actress Anita Pallenberg, whom he was with from 1967 to 1979.

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