Sir Mick Jagger celebrates Keith Richards on Rolling Stones rocker’s 80th birthday

Jagger and Ronnie Wood, as well as the late Charlie Watts’ estate, all took to social media to commemorate Richards’ birthday

Faiza Saqib
Tuesday 19 December 2023 11:56 GMT
Mick Jagger And Keith Richards Lead Tributes To Charlie Watts

A lifetime of partying couldn’t stop him. Nor the decades of drink and drugs. A disaster at Altamont came close, while a stray coconut came closer.

Now birthday tributes have poured in for Keith Richards as the rocker with nine lives turned 80.

Sir Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood both took to social media to commemorate the grizzled guitarist’s birthday.

Taking a trip down memory lane, Jagger and Wood posted photos of them performing and laughing with Richards on Monday (18 December) to commemorate the occasion.

Jagger shared a photo on Instagram of him and Richards with their arms wrapped around each other as they smiled at the camera. Alongside the post, he wrote: "Happy birthday @‌officialkeef! Love Mick”.

Wood also posted a few snaps of them playing guitar on stage from throughout the years on the road, writing: "Happy 80th birthday @‌officialkeef!"

The estate managing Watts’ Instagram account also shared a tribute, remembering the late drummer’s friendship with Richards with heartwarming images of the two of them toegther. Watts, who was a prominent member of The Rolling Stones, sadly passed away in August 2021 at the age of 80.

The estate wrote: “Wishing Keith Richards a very happy 80th birthday today! Charlie said of his lifelong friend, ‘Keith is the most interesting, the most different of us all...He’s a man of vision, and one of the few people who hasn’t really changed over the years.

“Wherever he goes, whatever he does, he’s always Keith. He’ll be in his room and all the stuff that makes him Keith will be there. The music’s going, the wine’s there, his guitar’s there, and he’ll be sitting in the middle of it all like some wonderful sultan. It’s fantastic. It’s not a new thing, it’s the way he’s always been!”

If that wasn’t enough, the legend was also celebrated by Spotify, with a large billboard displayed in New York’s Times Square.

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“Happy Birthday Keith Richards,” the billboard read.

Fans also shared their excitement on X/Twitter under the post as Richards thanked the digital music service for the billboard.

“The only thing cooler than Keith Richards is a cool neon sign of Keith Richards,” one fan said.

“You are pure magic!” another commented.

A third said: “Legend, happy birthday. First time I saw the Stones was in 81 at the LA Coliseum. Prince was booed off the stage after 1 song but you guy’s saw his talent.”

The Rolling Stones’ lead guitarist and songwriter, also took to Instagram to mark his 40th wedding anniversary with a loving photo of him and his wife, Patti Hansen, cutting a celebratory cake.

"For Patricia, Happy 40th Anniversary! I love you. Keith🖤," Richards said in the post, which saw him wearing a tuxedo alongside the model and actress, 67, who sported a satin, short-sleeve wedding dress against a backdrop of the ocean.

The pair have been together since 1979 and initially met at Studio 54 on Hansen’s 23rd birthday. A few months later, Jagger’s then-girlfriend Jerry Hall invited Hansen to Keith’s 36th birthday, and they began dating.

"Keith was constantly making me mixtapes, and he would do beautiful drawings on them. That was his method of communication," Hansen told Harper’s Bazaar in November 2011. "I have everything in boxes. Thousands of those tapes. I’ve saved everything."

Earlier this year, Jagger, Woods and Richards released their new album Hackney Diamonds, their first collection of original songs for 18 years and also the first album since the death of Watts.

At the time of Watts’ death, publicist Bernard Doherty said the drummer passed away “peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.” Watts had been a member of the band since 1963.

Last month, the Rolling Stones announced they will be hitting the road in 2024 in support of their latest album.

On Tuesday (21 November), the rock band revealed they would be touring North America. The tour will start on 28 April in Houston, Texas, and then the “Paint It, Black” group will make their way across the US and Canada before concluding in Santa Clara, California on 17 July.

The grand show is sponsored by the American non-profit AARP and the tour is expected to stop in 16 major cities, including New Orleans, Las Vegas, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Stones last performed across the US in 2021 for their No Filter tour, marking the first time the band had toured without drummer Watts.

In a heartwarming tribute, one of the songs off of the 12-track Hackney Diamonds album features a drum part recorded in 2019 by Watts.

“I am emotional about that, but I like the fact that he’s on it, in another way,” Jagger told The Independent in October, “We do have some really great tracks with Charlie on, that we recorded in that period, so who knows, we might put some others out.”

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