Sir Michael Philip “Mick” Jagger born 26th July 1943, Dartford, Kent, England.

Wilson Benesch would like to celebrate and welcome in the New Year with this classic David Redfern image of an exuberant Mick Jagger during a performance at Wembley Empire Pool in September 1973.

Jagger with the Rolling Stones behind him became something of a Rock and Roll talisman throughout the 1960s. 50-years on he remains prominent in music culture throughout the world today. To many he epitomizes much of the fabric of modern British counterculture, through freedom of self-innovation, sexual plasticity and often political opposition.

His father was a teacher; his mother, an Australian immigrant to England, was an active member of the Conservative Party. Jagger was the older of two sons, and academically successful, he attended Dartford Grammar School where he passed 3 A-levels, before entering the London School of Economics on a scholarship. He studied for a degree in accounting and finance, but attended for less than a year and did not graduate, leaving to pursue a musical career. School legend has it that Jagger was asked to leave the London School of Economics after an incident in which he rode a motorcycle inside the library.

Like Keith Richards and other members of The Rolling Stones, Jagger had no formal musical training and did not know how to read music. While Jagger knew Keith Richards as a schoolmate, it was not until later that the songwriters reunited when Richards saw Jagger with a blues record under his arm and asked him where he had purchased it. The two, combined with Jones, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart, and Charlie Watts, formed the Rolling Stones, basing their name on the Muddy Waters tune “Rollin’ Stone.” Stewart was dropped from the band for not fitting the image desired by manager Andrew Loog Oldham, but still toured with the band as a pianist until his death in 1985. It was Oldham who insisted that Jagger call himself “Mick” rather than “Mike”, a name he continued to use among friends; for example, John Lennon calls him Michael in the 1968 film The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.

On September 26, 2007, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones made $437 million on their “A Bigger Bang Tour” to list them in the latest edition of Guinness World Record.

Decades of controversy have followed in the wake of the Stones which continues today. The release of their 2005 album ‘A Bigger Bang’ included the song “Sweet Neo Con” in which Jagger’s lyrics openly attack the presidency of George W. Bush.

Jagger has been and will continue to be an inspiration to all who follow in his formidable footsteps.