A nine-year courtship culminates in a happy engagement. It sounds so very conventional for a Rolling Stone.
And yet, at the grand old age of 79, Sir Mick Jagger is making an honest man of himself and marrying the mother of his eighth child, Melanie Hamrick.
Friends claim the diamond Hamrick has been wearing for some time (and laughing off as merely a “promise ring”) has been upgraded.
When asked about it, Hamrick had previously made light of the ring, describing how she and Jagger were just “like horny teenagers”.
“I have to giggle because did Mick give me the ring? Yes. Is it for that finger? Yes.
“In my mind, it’s a promise ring. We’ll be immature and call it a promise ring.”
That promise appears to have been bumped up to an official engagement.
“Melanie was at the American Ballet Theatre and she was telling her friends she was engaged to Mick,” a source told the Mirror.
“She was very clear her ring is an engagement ring and she is now his fiancée. Her family also very much understand them to be engaged and are thrilled.”
Why has old snake hips come over quite so traditional, then?
He has loved and left countless women. Of his many relationships (to date, he has had eight children with five separate women), he was only ever married once, to Bianca Jagger.
Perhaps a looming milestone birthday has something to do with it? He will turn 80 on July 26. Or perhaps, underneath it all, Jagger is more traditional than he’d care to admit.
“It’s quite old-fashioned, getting engaged,” says Chris Salewicz, author of Rolling Stones biography Mick and Keith: Parallel Lines, who is somewhat incredulous at Jagger’s sudden acquiescence to tradition.
“I don’t think he’s ever been ‘engaged’, as it were, to anybody.”
Mick Jagger’s love life
His most “conventional” relationship to date has arguably been his seven-year marriage to Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias.
They wed in 1971 in a Catholic ceremony in St Tropez. Their daughter Jade – now 51 and a grandmother herself – arrived five months later and the couple were together six years.
They separated in 1977 and by the following year she was filing for divorce on the grounds of Jagger’s adultery – he is said to have had an affair with Playboy model Bebe Buell from 1974-76.
Before Bianca, there was Marianne Faithfull. The pair were together for four years, through the infamous Redlands drugs bust.
Faithfull recently admitted she always regretted that her relationship with Jagger prevented her from going out with Jimi Hendrix. “He always came on to me a bit strong and I couldn’t do anything, I was with Mick,” she said in an interview last year. “I would’ve loved to. Actually, quite frankly, if I hadn’t been with Mick I would’ve gone off with him. Jimi is my biggest regret.”
While he was still with Faithfull, there was an affair with Marsha Hunt – the inspiration for Brown Sugar – with whom Jagger had his first child, Karis, born in 1970.
Jagger is said to have pursued Hunt. She wrote in her 1986 memoir, Real Life, about the night he stood, “framed by the doorway ... grinning with a dark coat …He drew one hand out of his pocket and pointed it at me like a pistol … Bang.”
Hunt sold a collection of love letters from Jagger, written in the summer of 1969, at Sotheby’s for £182,250.
“I feel with you something so unsung there is no need to sing it,” he wrote in one. In Real Life, Hunt said the pair planned their pregnancy but never intended to live together, agreeing Jagger would be an “absent father”.
By 1977, Jagger had begun dating American model Jerry Hall. Theirs was a relationship that seemed to survive against the odds.
Over the two decades they were together, Jagger and Hall had four children. Though their partnership must have been marred by his many affairs, they stayed together until 1999, when Hall discovered the Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez was pregnant with his seventh child.
Gimenez was by no means the only one – there had also been an affair with Carla Bruni between 1991 and 1994. When it came to separating once and for all, Jagger’s lawyers argued the private Hindu ceremony he and Hall had had on a beach in Bali in 1990 was unofficial and didn’t constitute a wedding. The High Court declared their marriage unlawful in 1999; the relationship ended in annulment rather than divorce.
“I didn’t like the idea of annulling after 23 years and four children,” Hall told The Guardian in 2010. “It seemed a bit rude.”
These days, there seems to be water under the bridge. Nearly 25 years after they split up, Jagger came to Hall’s rescue recently in the wake of her divorce from Rupert Murdoch when he sent his security team to disconnect the live surveillance cameras in the Oxfordshire home Hall got in her divorce settlement.
“All of our friends are the same friends, we like the same people,” Hall said in 2005, of her relationship with Jagger. “So we got on great. Except he slept with lots of other people, which was horrible.”
A year after their separation, Jagger was in a new relationship with the model Sophie Dahl.
Then came one of the most significant relationships of his life, with the fashion designer L’Wren Scott. They were together until her suicide in 2014.
Jagger was on tour with the Stones at the time in Australia. The day after her death, he released a statement saying he was “still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way”.
The fashion critic Suzy Menkes told The Guardian at the time how Scott had enjoyed “a very good, easy relationship” with Jagger’s children – “not motherly, just natural”, though she is said to have resented being known as “Mick Jagger’s girlfriend”.
“I would think she’d be pretty fed up by the ‘Mick’s girlfriend’ tag, but that’s just a guess,” said Menkes. “I never heard her say anything against Mick, ever.”
“She and Mick adored each other,” Jagger’s friend Mariella Frostrup told The Telegraph in 2021.
“L’Wren used to organise the most amazing parties for him, perhaps the most memorable of which was a weekend in St Petersburg for one of his big birthdays. She’d taken over a palace on the banks of the Neva. There were Russian wolfhounds at the door and ballerinas.”
Jagger has been with Hamrick since 2014. By the time their son Deveraux – a true Jagger mini me – was born in 2017, his granddaughter Assisi (daughter of Jade) had already made him a great-grandfather.
“I imagine it’s nice to be a great-grandad – although I’m not sure he likes the idea of getting old, or being called one,” she told Hello!
“I call him Mick – I wouldn’t start calling him grandpa.”
He may have resisted the moniker, but this latest news of an engagement suggests a rather less rock ‘n’ roll final act is on the cards for Jagger. It may be a sign, Salewicz says, that at nearly 80, the Stones frontman is finally endeavouring to “grow up”.
“This seems like the kind of thing you do in later life – he’s not making an honest woman of her as much as he’s making an honest man of himself.
“I’m sure she wants to, but as far as he’s concerned it’s probably like ‘what haven’t I done at this stage of my life? Oh I haven’t got engaged before, better do that. That’ll make me a grown up.’”
A grown-up he may be, but only after a fashion. He was photographed recently taking six-year-old Deveraux to watch Fulham play Arsenal, wearing a cap with “DILF” emblazoned across it.
Friends say despite the ring, there isn’t necessarily a wedding on the cards, though perhaps the prospect of a party is what persuaded Jagger to make things official.
“Part of the thing about marriage is the whole pageant of it,” says Salewicz. “It’s like a sort of coronation, and I’m sure he enjoys all that.”
Keith Richards, you’ll recall, revealed in his autobiography that his nickname for Jagger is “Your Majesty”.
With wedding bells ringing faintly in the distance, then, could it be that at the ripe old age of 79, His Majesty has finally mellowed after all these years?
That’s a step too far, says Salewicz. “You can’t give a leopard new spots.”