There are few stories of talent, luck, and looks combining in as serendipitous a way as they have for the Pretenders' lead singer, Chrissie Hynde, and today we celebrate the raven-haired high priestess of fem-rock's 60th birthday.
The native of Akron, Ohio, attended Kent State University,
where she was witness to the infamous shootings that occurred amid
Vietnam protests there and inspired the CSNY song "Ohio." Though she
never completed her art degree at Kent State, she did find the time to
perform in a band with soon-to-be Devo founder Mark Mothersbaugh. In
1973, she picked up and moved to the U.K., where she accidentally managed
to land a gig at NME magazine, the periodical that had served as a major
catalyst in her jumping the pond.
She then reportedly worked at Vivienne Westwood's
boutique, SEX; solicited Sid Vicious' hand in marriage as means to stay
in the country; played in a band with members of the Damned before they
were the Damned; had "Philthy" Phil Taylor of future Motörhead fame on
drums for the first sessions that would become the Pretenders; and had a
child with both Ray Davies of the Kinks and Jim Kerr of Simple
Minds. Some claim portions of her backstory to be embellished upon or
twisted about for the sake of public perception. However, the fact
remains that if even a fraction of her backstory is the truth, this is a
woman undeniably imbued with the history of rock music.
Probably their best-known song, here's "Brass in Pocket" from the debut album by the Pretenders.
features what may be the best example of the late James Honeyman-Scott's
real attention and also happens to have been penned by Chrissie's baby
daddy Ray Davies.