Mick Jagger at 80: how the Rolling Stone is still one of the greatest frontmen of rock

Despite his past with drugs, today The Rolling Stones’ singer is an example of energy and commitment on stage in his eight decade

Mick Jagger (front) on stage with Ron Wood (left) and Keith Richards on July 2022 in Solna (Sweden).
Mick Jagger (front) on stage with Ron Wood (left) and Keith Richards on July 2022 in Solna (Sweden).Nils Petter Nilsson (Getty Images)
Alonso Martínez

Celebrating his 80th birthday, Mick Jagger, the iconic frontman of The Rolling Stones, continues to captivate audiences with his magnetic stage presence and unparalleled talent. Though renowned for his musical accomplishments, Jagger’s journey hasn’t been without its share of controversies, particularly his association with drugs during the 1960s. Despite the tumultuous past, Jagger’s life took a turn when he embraced a new chapter, leaving behind the haze of substance use to embark on a path of health and discipline. As he marks this momentous milestone, his dedication to maintaining peak performance remains unwavering. This is how he is still one of the best frontman in show business… at 80 years old.

The old Mick Jagger

As one of the many rockers in the 1960s, Mick Jagger had a relationship with drugs. In 1967, he was famously arrested in a drugs raid with Keith Richards for the possession of amphetamines. In a later interview, he highlighted that he never promoted any particular ideology like religion, drugs, or otherwise. “I’ve never done that,” he said. “I don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough or a responsible enough leader.”

There are reports that Jagger consumed LSD throughout 1968. There’s a story that he was under the effect of acid when he bought a crumbling multi-million-pound country mansion (where The Rolling Stones recorded Exile on Main St), but Jagger hasn’t confirmed it. However, in 1995, he told Rolling Stone magazine that he and the rest of the band were on acid during the recording process of Their Satanic Majesties Request. “We were on acid doing the cover picture.” He also said the quality of the album suffered because “I probably started taking too many drugs.” There were also reports that Jagger consumed cocaine.

However, Jagger’s use of drugs ended when he started dating model Jerry Hall in the late 1970s. In her autobiography, she claimed that the singer quit drugs at her request. “I told him I couldn’t see him if he took drugs, saying, ‘Go away and don’t come back until you’re straight.’” According to Hall, Jagger was fond of smoking cigarettes with heroin. Since then, it seems the rocker has completely stopped drug usage, although he still drinks occasionally as shown on social media. “It’s debilitating to drink a lot,” he stated in an interview.

The Rolling Stones perform in Berlin (Germany), in August 2022.
The Rolling Stones perform in Berlin (Germany), in August 2022.Soeren Stache (Getty Images)

“I always think it’s better not to take drugs or drink or anything,” Jagger said to Larry King in an interview explaining how his work influenced his sobriety. “That’s not saying I’ve never done it because I have. But I sort of learned, after a while [...] It didn’t take me that long to realize that it wasn’t a good thing [...] You know, taking drugs on a recreational level is one thing. But taking them while you’re working on a stage is, you know, I don’t think it was that great.”

“It’s the control factor. And the thing about being on stage is you really want to feel that you’re sort of in control a lot, I think, because [...] it’s not a place where you want to be out of control.”

In 1982, Mick appeared on a BBC documentary about being part of the Rolling Stones for 20 years. In that interview, he is already focused on training and his fitness. “It took me two months to get in shape. But if you are on the road for three months, you have to stay there. You can’t dip off...”

Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger poses for a portrait in 1968 in London (England).Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Rocking at 80

The commitment Mick Jagger has on stage is what still makes him one of the best frontmen in show business. “Rock ‘n’ roll, or any kind of pop music honestly, isn’t supposed to be done when you’re in your 70s,” the rocker admitted to The Sunday Times in 2022. “It wasn’t designed for that. Doing anything high-energy at this age is really pushing it. But that makes it even more challenging.”

Jagger has been working out and taking care of his diet for years. Since 2019, he’s been traveling with a cardiologist after undergoing heart valve replacement surgery.

According to Jagger, he does “six weeks of practice even before rehearsals start. And I do dancing, gym, every day of the week. I don’t enjoy it very much, but it has to be done.” Other reports say that Mick runs around eight miles a day; he swims, cycles, and does resistance training. He also has kept an organic diet that helps him get through his concerts. He told Daily Star: “I still really enjoy it, you know. As you get older, it doesn’t get any easier playing two hours plus or whatever.”

The Rolling Stones’ last tour was in 2022. Although they have no future plans for touring, it is expected that they embark on one last great tour before they retire from the stage.

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