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The contemporary female singer that Keith Richards said he liked

Keith Richards
Photos by J. Bouquet


The contemporary female singer that Keith Richards said he liked

The guitarist Keith Richards helped to form The Rolling Stones back in 1962 and for more than six decades, he was a crucial part to keep the band going alongside his bandmate Mick Jagger. They released 30 studio albums and toured countless times all over the world, becoming one of the best-selling groups in history, with an estimated amount of more than 200 million records sold.


In more than 60 years of touring, Richards had the chance to see the evolution of music up-close. The Stones were always known for giving a chance to new artists, since they constantly take with them on the road groups that really have potential. During the last decade the band had many amazing opening acts but one female singer really impressed Richards. At the time he said she was a “hell of a performer”.

The contemporary female singer that Keith Richards said he liked

During the 2010s, The Rolling Stones toured a lot. After their successful “A Bigger Bang” tour from 2005 to 2007, that became one of the highest-grossing tours of all time, they only returned to the road in 2012. That tour that happened until 2013 and it was called “50 & Counting”, celebrating their 50th anniversary.

After that they really didn’t stop, with the tours “14 On Fire” in 2014, “Zip Code” in 2015, “América Latina Olé” in 2016. Besides the “No Filter Tour” that happened from 2017 to 2021. During those shows they had many incredible guests during their live performances mixing contemporary artists with some famous acts. But it was during the “50 & Counting” tour in 2012, that the band had a female singer as special guest that impressed Richards.

The musician is known for being a very sincere person and for always saying what he really thinks about anyone. When he was asked to comment about Florence Welch, from Florence & The Machine, the musician quickly praised her.

He said:

“I’d never met her before or seen her work. But I just went, ‘Wow, there’s a strong voice’. She’s a hell of a performer.” She gave Mick a run for his money. She can move. Great fun, lovely girl,” Keith Richards said as reported by Express UK in 2012.

During their second special concert at the O2 Arena in London back in 2012 to celebrate their 50th anniversary, The Rolling Stones invited Welch on stage. She sang with them the classic song “Gimme Shelter”.

Florence talked about that moment in an interview with The Guardian in 2022. “I thought I knew the words to Gimme Shelter. But I realized when I got to rehearsal that I didn’t know the specific words. I thought: ‘It’s the Rolling Stones, it’s a rock band, they’ll probably just wing it.’ Then I realized Mick Jagger doesn’t wing anything.”

Florence & The Machine was their opening act in 2019

Six years after that performance with the Stones, Welch’s band Florence & The Machine was invited to be their opening act at their tour in the United Kingdom in 2018. She opened for the band on May 25 at the London stadium. That tour also had other special guests on other dates like The Specials, Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft.

That night, she also joined The Stones on stage but this time to perform another classic, the song “Wild Horses”.

Florence Welch

When Florence Welch was born in 1986, The Rolling Stones already were on the road for 24 years and were one of the biggest bands of all time. In that same year they released the classic album “Dirty Work”.

She started her musical career in 2006 and one year later formed Florence & The Machine. Their debut album “Lungs” was released in 2009 and had the band’s biggest hit “The Dog Days Are Over”. Since then they released four more studio albums, the most recent one being “Dance Fever” in 2022.

Besides Florence, the band is currently formed by Isabella Summers (Keyboards), Robert Acrkroyd (Guitar), Tom Monger (Harp, xylophone, percussion), Cyrus Bayandor (Bass), Aku Orraca-Tetteh (Percussion), Dionne Douglas (Violin, guitar) and Loren Humphrey (Drums).

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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