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The Year in Music 2023: The Rolling Stones return with ‘Hackney Diamonds’, their first new album in 18 years

After more than 60 years making music, The Rolling Stones proved in 2023 that they won’t be slowing down anytime soon by releasing their first album of new music in 18 years: Hackney Diamonds


– The tease of new music started right as the new year began, when guitarist Keith Richards told fans in a January 11 social media message, “There’s some new music on its way and hopefully we’ll get to see you.”

– In August, a mysterious ad was placed in the British paper Hackney Gazette for something called Hackney Diamonds. Fans were quick to speculate it was a tease about a new Rolling Stones album because in the ad the “I” in Diamonds was dotted with the Stones’ signature lips logo. The ad also quoted several Stones song titles, including “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Gimme Shelter” and “Shattered.” 

– Fans’ suspicions were finally proven true when The Stones’ social media accounts began directing folks to the new Hackney Diamonds website, teasing “a new era.”

– The official confirmation finally came on September 6, when Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood held a special media launch event in London, hosted by Jimmy Fallon. They announced their 26th studio album, Hackney Diamonds, would be arriving on October 20. They also debuted the album’s first single, “Angry,” with a video featuring Euphoria actress Sydney Sweeney.

– The Stones recruited some very special guests to join them on the record, including their late drummer Charlie Watts on two songs, “Mess It Up” and “Live By The Sword.” The latter also featured their former bassist Bill WymanPaul McCartney also played bass on one song, with Lady GagaStevie Wonder and Elton John contributing to tracks, as well. 

– The night before the album’s release, The Stones took the stage at the intimate venue Racket in New York City for a surprise album release concert, which featured a special appearance by Lady Gaga for their first performance of their collaboration, “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.”

– Hackney Diamonds debuted at #1 in over 18 countries, including the U.K., although it had to settle for #3 in the U.S. The U.S. chart debut meant the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers became the first act to have albums land in the top 10 in every decade from the 1960s to the 2020s. 

– About a month after the release, fans got something else they’ve been dying for — a tour. The eagerly anticipated Hackney Diamonds tour, sponsored by AARP, is set to kick off in April. A complete list of dates can be found at therollingstones.com.

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