Bill Wyman facts: Rolling Stones guitarist's age, wife, children and career explained

31 May 2024, 15:21 | Updated: 3 June 2024, 15:00

Bill Wyman in 2010
Bill Wyman in 2010. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

Bill Wyman is best known as the former bassist of the Rolling Stones.

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Wyman’s journey to rock stardom began in the early 1960s when he joined the iconic band The Rolling Stones, contributing to some of the most legendary tracks in rock history.

His steady, rhythmic bass lines became a foundational element of the Rolling Stones’ sound, helping to define an era of music.

Beyond his tenure with the Stones, Wyman has pursued various interests, including archaeology, photography, and writing, showcasing his multifaceted talents.

  1. How old is Bill Wyman?

    Bill Wyman is 87 years old as of 2024. He was born on October 24, 1936, in Lewisham, London.

    Bill Wyman was born to Molly (née Jeffery) and William Perks. His father, William Perks, worked as a bricklayer. He is the second of five children.

  2. When did he join the Rolling Stones and how did he get his start in music?

    Rolling Stones
    Rolling Stones. Picture: Getty

    Bill Wyman joined the Rolling Stones in December 1962. His start in music began in the mid-1950s when he became interested in rock and roll. Initially self-taught, he bought his first bass guitar in 1961 and played in a band called The Cliftons.

    Wyman's distinct style and sound caught the attention of the Rolling Stones, who were looking for a bassist at the time. He joined up with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Charlie Watts (Ronnie Wood joined later).

    After a successful audition, he became a member of the band, contributing significantly to their success and enduring legacy.

  3. Why did Bill Wyman leave the Rolling Stones and when did he last play with them?

    Bill Wyman in 2022
    Bill Wyman in 2022. Picture: Alamy

    Bill Wyman left the Rolling Stones in 1993.

    He decided to part ways with the band due to a desire for a quieter life and to pursue other interests outside of the intense demands of being in one of the world's most famous rock bands.

    His last performance with the Rolling Stones as an official member was in 1990 during the Urban Jungle Tour, which was part of their larger Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour.

    In 2012, at the London shows on 25 and 29 November, Wyman played on two back-to-back songs, 'It's Only Rock 'n Roll' and 'Honky Tonk Women'.

    Wyman briefly returned to recording with the Rolling Stones in 2023, playing bass on one track, 'Live By the Sword', on their album Hackney Diamonds.

  4. Who are Bill Wyman's wives and does he have kids?

    Bill Wyman and first wife Diane in 1966
    Bill Wyman and first wife Diane in 1966. Picture: Getty

    Bill Wyman has been married three times.

    He married Diane Cory in 1959 and divorced in 1969. They had one son, Stephen.

    Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith in 1989
    Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith in 1989. Picture: Getty

    In 1989, he married Mandy Smith, but they separated in 1991.

    There was controversy around their marriage due to their significant age difference and the circumstances surrounding their relationship. Wyman, who was 52 years old at the time, married Mandy Smith when she was 18. However, they had started dating when she was only 13 years old and he was 47, which led to widespread criticism and media scrutiny.

    The public and the press were particularly concerned about the ethical and legal implications of their relationship given Mandy's young age when it began. This age gap and the nature of their relationship sparked a significant amount of controversy and debate, that remains to this day.

    (L to R) Jessica Wyman, Suzanne Wyman, Bill Wyman and Matilda Mae Wyman in 2017
    (L to R) Jessica Wyman, Suzanne Wyman, Bill Wyman and Matilda Mae Wyman in 2017. Picture: Getty

    He then married Suzanne Accosta in 1993. They have three daughters together, Katherine Noelle, Jessica Rose, and Matilda Mae.

  5. What is he doing now?

    Bill Wyman Documentary ‘The Quiet One’ Trailer Premieres

    Bill Wyman is currently enjoying a quieter life away from the intense spotlight of his Rolling Stones days.

    He continues to pursue his interests in music, archaeology, photography, and writing. Wyman has released several solo albums and has written books, including a memoir and works on music and history.

    He also formed a band called Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, which performs regularly and has released several albums.