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The Rolling Stones

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The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica, guitar) and Keith Richards (guitar, vocals). Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up. R&B and blues cover songs dominated the Rolling Stones' early material, but their repertoire has always included rock and roll. Critic and musicologist Robert Palmer credits the Rolling Stones' endurance and relevance to having been "rooted in traditional verities, in rhythm-and-blues and soul music", while "more ephemeral pop fashions have come and gone". The Rolling Stones have been credited for the higher international regard for the primitive blues typified by Chess Records' artists such as Muddy Waters, who 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' diminishing contributions to the band and his inability to tour led to him leaving the band. Three weeks after his departure, Jones drowned. His immediate replacement Mick Taylor stayed with the band until 1974, and was replaced by Ronnie Wood. Wyman retired from the band in 1993; his replacement Darryl Jones has not been made a full member. Stewart was taken from the official line-up in 1963 and continued 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.

First popular in Europe, the Rolling Stones quickly became successful in North America during the British Invasion of the mid 1960s. Having released 22 studio albums in the United Kingdom (24 in the United States), nine live albums (ten in the US) and numerous compilations; their worldwide sales are estimated at more than 200 million albums. Sticky Fingers (1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums reaching number one in the United States. Their most recent album of entirely new material, A Bigger Bang, was released 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 group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


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