The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in 1962 in London when multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones and pianist Ian Stewart were joined by vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards.
Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early lineup. Stewart, deemed unsuitable as a teen idol, was removed from the official lineup in 1963 but continued to work with the band as road manager and keyboardist until his death in 1985.
Jagger and Richards early on formed the songwriting partnership Jagger/Richards and gradually took over leadership of the band from the increasingly troubled and erratic Jones.
At first the group recorded mainly covers of American blues and R&B songs, but since the 1966 album Aftermath, their releases have mainly featured Jagger/Richards songs.
Mick Taylor replaced an incapacitated Jones shortly before Jones's death in 1969. Taylor quit in 1974, and was replaced in 1975 by Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood, who has remained with the band ever since.
Wyman left the Rolling Stones in 1992; bassist Darryl Jones, who is not an official band member, has worked with the group since 1994.
First popular in the UK and Europe, The Rolling Stones came to the US during the early 1960s "British Invasion".
The Rolling Stones have released 22 studio albums in the UK (24 in the US), eight concert albums (nine in the US) and numerous compilations; and have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.
In July 2008 it was announced that the Rolling Stones were leaving EMI and signing with Vivendi's Universal Music, taking with them their entire catalogue stretching back to Sticky Fingers.