Keith Richards is an English musician and songwriter, with an estimated net worth of $500 million. He achieved international fame as a co-founder, guitarist, backing vocalist, and co-lead songwriter for the Rolling Stones. His career spans more than six decades and his style of guitar playing has been a Rolling Stones trademark throughout the band’s career.
|Complete names||Keith Richards|
|Dates of birth||December 18, 1943|
|Net worth||$500 million|
Keith Richards was born on December 18, 1943, at Livingston Hospital, in Dartford, Kent, England. He is the only son of Doris Maud Lydia and Herbert William Richards. He attended Wentworth Grammar School with Mick Jagger until 1954, when the Richards and Jagger families moved.
From 1955 to 1959, he attended Dartford Technical High School for Boys, where he was expelled for truancy and transferred to Sidcup Art College, where he met Dick Taylor. At Sidcup, he digressed from his studies proper and spent more time playing guitar with other students in the boys’ bathroom.
Richards met Jagger again by chance on a train platform as Jagger was on his way to classes at the London School of Economics. The duo renewed their friendship and started a musical partnership soon after. At the time of the meeting, Jagger was singing in an amateur band, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys, which Richards soon joined.
The Blue Boys dropped out when Brian Jones, after sharing his thoughts on their common interest in blues music, invited Mick and Keith to form the Rolling Stones. In mid-1962, Richards left Sidcup Art College to pursue music, moving into a London flat with Jagger and Jones.
Richards plays lead and rhythm guitar parts, often on the same song. His style of guitar playing has been a Rolling Stones trademark throughout the band’s career. He is also a vocalist, singing backing vocals on many Rolling Stones songs, as well as occasional lead vocals, such as on the Rolling Stones’ 1972 single “Happy,” as well as with his side project, the X-Pensive Winos.
Following the departure of Brian Jones, Richards and Mick Jagger have shared primary songwriting and production duties (credited as the Glimmer Twins) for the Stones. Former keyboardist Ian Stewart once said that Richards was the leader of the Rolling Stones band; however, Richards has said that his job is simply to “oil the machinery.”
Unlike many bands where the drummer sets the beat and acts as the beat marker for a song, Richards fills that role for the Rolling Stones. Both former bassist Bill Wyman and current guitarist Ronnie Wood have said that the Stones do not follow the band’s drummer Charlie Watts, but instead follow Richards, as “there was no way ‘not’ to follow him.”
Outside of his career with the Rolling Stones, Richards has also played with his own side project, The X-Pensive Winos. He also appeared in three Pirates of the Caribbean movies as Captain Teague, father of Jack Sparrow, whose look and character were inspired by Richards himself.
Honors and recognitions
In 1989 Richards was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2004 into the UK Music Hall of Fame with the Rolling Stones. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine referred to Richards as the creator of “rock’s greatest set of riffs” on guitar, ranking him fourth on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. The magazine also included fourteen songs he co-wrote with Jagger on its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.
The group’s Voodoo Lounge Tour grossed $320 million, becoming the highest-grossing tour in the world at the time. In 2007, the band grossed $437 million on their A Bigger Bang Tour, earning them an entry in the 2007 Guinness World Records for Most Lucrative Music Tour.
The group has sold more than 200 million records worldwide and earned more than $117 million from performing 14 shows in 2018. In addition to his own musical performances, Richards is known to produce records and have worked with people like Aretha Franklin and Ronnie Spector.