The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. Their early mission was to share their enthusiasm for rhythm and blues, but they were received as symbols and leaders of rebellious youth. The first settled line-up had Brian Jones on guitar and harmonica, Ian Stewart on piano, Mick Jagger on lead vocals and harmonica, Keith Richards on guitar and backing vocals, Bill Wyman on bass and Charlie Watts on drums. Jones founded and led the band, but after teaming as co-writers Jagger and Richards assumed leadership of the band. Jones' increasing physical and mental troubles forced his departure from the band two weeks prior to his drowning death in 1969. Since Wyman left in 1993, the full band members have been Jagger, Richards, Watts and guitarist Ronnie Wood who joined in 1975, replacing Mick Taylor (who had followed Jones). The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted the Rolling Stones in 1989. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list and estimated album sales are above 200 million.
The Rolling Stones were in the vanguard of the "British Invasion" of English bands that became popular in the U.S. in the mid-sixties. They have released twenty-four studio albums, eleven live albums and numerous compilations. Their album Sticky Fingers (1971) was the first of eight consecutive number one studio albums in the United States. Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on "The Billboard Top All-Time Artists" and as the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The advent of the Rolling Stones brought international popularity to the primitive urban blues typified by Chess Records' artist Muddy Waters, writer of "Rollin' Stone", the song after which the band is named. Robert Palmer said the Rolling Stones' endurance and relevance stems from being "rooted in traditional verities, in rhythm-and-blues and soul music" while "more ephemeral pop fashions have come and gone". In 2012 the band celebrated their 50th anniversary.