The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in April 1962 by guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart, vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early lineup. Rhythm and blues cover songs dominated The Rolling Stones' early material; they are credited for raising the international regard for the more primitive blues typified by Chess Records' artists such as Muddy Waters who wrote "Rollin' Stone", the song after which the band is named. Unconcerned with being authentic blues stylists, from the start the Rolling Stones have played rock and roll, and have written and recorded in many genres.
Though Jones initially led the band, Jagger and Richards took over after teaming as the band's songwriters. By 1969 Jones had contributed minimally to recording, was legally barred from touring the United States, and was in failing health. By mutual agreement Jones left the band, and Mick Taylor became his replacement. Weeks after leaving the band, Jones drowned. Taylor left in 1974 and was replaced by Ronnie Wood. Wyman left in 1990, and his replacement Darryl Jones became the primary bassist, but he is not a full member. Stewart was taken from the official lineup in 1963 to continue as the band's road manager and occasional keyboardist until his death in 1985. Chuck Leavell has been the primary keyboardist for the band.
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