The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. A diverging act to the popular pop rock of the early-1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty, heavier-driven sound that came to define hard rock. Their first stable line-up was bandleader Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica, keyboards), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bass guitar), and Charlie Watts (drums). The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who in turn left in 1974 to be replaced by Ronnie Wood. Since Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has served as bassist.
Rooted in blues and early rock and roll, the Rolling Stones started out playing covers and established themselves at the forefront of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the United States in 1964, also being identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the 1960s. The band then found more success with their own material as songs such as "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Get Off of My Cloud" and "Paint It Black" became international No. 1 hits. Aftermath (1966) – their first entirely original album – has been considered the most important of the band's formative records. In early 1967, the group had the double-sided hit "Ruby Tuesday"/"Let's Spend the Night Together" and then briefly experimented with psychedelic rock. They returned to their 'bluesy' roots with such major hits as "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (1968) and "Honky Tonk Woman" (1969), and albums such as: Beggars Banquet (1968), featuring the single "Sympathy for the Devil"; Let It Bleed (1969), including "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Gimme Shelter"; Sticky Fingers (1971), featuring "Brown Sugar"; and, Exile on Main St. (1972), featuring "Tumbling Dice". In 1969, they were first introduced on stage as 'The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World'.
Goats Head Soup (1973) and its hit ballad "Angie" continued the Stones' worldwide success. They released successful albums through the remainder of the 1970s and into early 1980s, including their two best sellers: Some Girls (1978), featuring the disco-tinged "Miss You"; and Tattoo You (1981), featuring the hit rocker "Start Me Up". They then kept a low profile until 1989 when they released Steel Wheels, featuring the lead single "Mixed Emotions", promoted by a large stadium and arena tour. Since the 1990s, new material has been less frequent. Despite this, the Rolling Stones continued to be a huge attraction on the live circuit and by 2007 had had four of the top five highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Their latest album, Blue & Lonesome (2016), became their twelfth UK number-one album. The group continues to sell out venues, with their recent No Filter Tour running for two years concluding in August 2019.
The Rolling Stones' estimated record sales of 240 million makes them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The band has won three Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. They have released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums and numerous compilations. Let It Bleed (1969) marked the first of five consecutive No. 1 studio or live albums in the UK. Sticky Fingers (1971) was the first of eight consecutive No. 1 studio albums in the US. In 2008, the Rolling Stones were listed 10th on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists chart, and in 2019 Billboard magazine ranked them second in their list of the "Greatest Artists of All Time" based on US chart success.