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The Story Behind Angie By The Rolling Stones

Music | July 24, 2018

Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Kieth Richards from The Rolling Stones perform live on stage at Twickenham Stadium on June 19, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Ball/WireImage)

The 1973 acoustic ballad, “Angie,” by the Rolling Stones shot to the top of the charts when it was released on the group’s “Goats Head Soup” album. In fact, it is the band’s only ballad to hit Number One in the United States. “Angie,” written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, was different than the hard, aggressive sound that fans were used to with The Rolling Stones. The public was captivated by the tune. Part of the allure of the song was the mystery in evoked. Who was Angie? There have been many theories circulating that try to answer that question. 

Was David Bowie’s Wife the Inspiration for “Angie”?

British singer, David Bowie, a contemporary of The Rolling Stones, was influencing music and pop culture with his unique brand of music and his outrageous styles. From 1970 to 1980, he was married to an American actress, model, and journalist, Angela Barnett Bowie, who herself was a fashion icon of the seventies. Angie Bowie often claimed to be the muse to Richards and Jagger’s “Angie”, but both Stones band members have continuously denied her claim. 

Did Angie Bowie Bribe The Rolling Stones to Write Her a Song?

According to rumor and speculation, Angie Bowie once walked in on her husband, David Bowie, in bed with a naked Mick Jagger. She promised to keep quiet about the gay tryst if the Rolling Stones would write her a song. Bowie was known to be bisexual and Angie Bowie was open and accepting of his lifestyle, so that part of the rumor seems plausible. But if Angie Bowie wanted a song, she could have asked her own husband to write one for her. Besides, Jagger only contributed a little to the writing of the song. Keith Richards wrote most of it. 

Was “Angie” an Ode to Keith Richards’ Daughter?

On April 17, 1972, Keith Richards and his girlfriend, Anita Pellenberg welcomed a daughter named Dandelion Angela Richards into the world. On and off through the years, Richards claims to have written “Angie” for his baby daughter. But equally as often, he claims the name in the iconic song was simply picked at random. 

Was “Angie” Penned for Actress Angie Dickinson?

Sexy, blonde actress, Angie Dickinson, was at the height of her popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. She had a reputation for making the rounds with celebrity men and even had affairs with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and John F. Kennedy. Many people speculate that the sultry actress, best known for TV’s “Police Woman”, inspired the Rolling Stone’s song. 

Was There No Angie?

While the world wonders just who was the woman behind the Rolling Stone’s song, there is a good chance that the answer is no one. Richards often stated that he used the name Angie only because it flowed well with his other lyrics, and because it was a popular name of the time. The song became one of the band’s biggest hits and a favorite song at concerts. Although it was a departure from their other tunes, “Angie” turned out to be The Rolling Stones’ best girl. 

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Karen Harris

Writer

Karen left the world of academic, quitting her job as a college professor to write full-time. She spends her days with her firefighter husband and four daughters on a hobby farm with an assortment of animals, including a goat named Atticus, a turkey named Gravy, and a chicken named Chickaletta.