Marsha Hunt: Mick Jagger's 'Brown Sugar' Inspiration, Then And Now

By | April 14, 2021

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Singer, actress and model Marsha Hunt, 21st August 1969. (Photo by McCarthy/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Marsha Hunt didn't write "Brown Sugar" -- Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones wrote it about her. She didn't have a lot of lines in the musical Hair, but it was her face plastered all over London on the poster. She was in a few bands, performed at the landmark Isle Of Wight festival in 1969, and had a minor hit with "Walk On Gilded Splinters." In the '70s, she was a radio presence, she appeared in the Hammer Horror classic Dracula A.D. 1972, and formed a few different bands. She's a model, actress, writer and singer, but above that she is a witness to and symbol of the possibilities in the Swinging London scene of the mid- and late '60s, and was a familiar presence among the London rock royalty of the early '70s.

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Marsha Hunt, the inspiration for the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar." (afropunk)jpeg

Marsha Hunt first came to fame as an actress in Hair, the scandalous West End musical that took London and eventually the world by storm. Playing the character Dionne, Hunt only had two lines, but those two lines and her striking beauty moved the hearts of thousands and a man named Mick Jagger who fell in lust over Hunt in just one look. The visage of Hunt’s beautiful face and astounding afro became the inspiration for Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” and the quintessential poster from Hair. Hunt also became the first black model to ever appear on the cover of Britain’s high-fashion magazine, Queen. Unfortunately, cavorting with a rock star brings many pitfalls and Hunt learned the trials and tribulations the hard way.