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Acclaimed as the greatest rhythm guitarist to plug into an amp, a founding member of one of the most iconic and successful bands of all time, and an uncontrollable spirit with a history of run-ins with the law, Keith Richards definitely embodies the essence of rock 'n' roll. Born and raised in a suburb of London, Richards bonded with Mick Jagger at art school over a shared passion for music. They started a band that evolved to become the world famous Rolling Stones.
Keith Richards was greatly influenced by Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters, and it can be heard in his playing. His style has its roots in blues, and he focuses on maintaining a groove instead of playing superfluous solos. It has often been noted that Richards' riffs are the backbone of Rolling Stones songs, a role traditionally belonging to the drummer. Keith Richards' playing is so rhythmic that the rest of the band can easily follow the foundation he lays down.
The personal life of Keith Richards has been a turbulent journey through drug addiction. His problems with heroin have affected his musical career, and the Stones had trouble recording while he was lost in his problems. He has been the target of numerous drug raids, and has been charged for possession multiple times, including an incident in Canada that almost led to a lengthy jail term abroad.
Richards' has always concentrated on the Rolling Stones as a first priority, but he branched out to work on a solo project in a band dubbed the Xpensive Winos, and recorded Talk is Cheap (1988). The album went gold, pushed by the success of the single, "Take it So Hard". The follow-up 1992 album, Main Offender, was also acclaimed but did not match the sales of the first release.
He's still kicking it today, touring and recording, finding himself in the news and the tabloids, and playing ever-faithfully with the Rolling Stones.