L O N D O N, June 14, 2002 -- One of rock's original bad boys now has the British establishment's seal of approval … sort of.
On Saturday, at Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday bash at Buckingham Palace, Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger will become Sir Michael Phillip Jagger, knighted for his 40 years of service to popular music.
Not everyone is happy about Jagger's honor, however.
"Jagger does not deserve a knighthood," said Philip Norman, a Jagger biographer. "There has to be some other dimension to a person's life who is given a knighthood, even if it's just an attempt to put something back into the country."
Rock's other Knights of the Realm — Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Sir Bob Geldof — are devoted not just to music, but to charity. Jagger, on the other hand, moved to France, to avoid British taxes. His favorite cause has always been his own.
"Perhaps he should go in for a bit of charity. What about unwed mothers?" said Charles Mosley of Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, perhaps the ultimate authority on British nobility. "That's good charity. One that's very close to his heart ."
Jagger has fathered seven children by four different women.
Fans in High Places
Two years ago Brazilian model Luciana Giminez Morad took Jagger to court to force him to support their child. The court ordered him to pay a whopping $35,000 a month for their son he had with Morad.
When his second wife, Jerry Hall, sued him for divorce on the grounds of "multiple infidelities," he argued their marriage vows in a 1990 Hindu ceremony were not legally valid, despite 20 years — and four children — together. A British high court ruled their marriage null and void on Aug. 13, 1999.
Unlike the other elder statesmen of pop, Jagger has never grown out of his rock 'n' roll lifestyle, gallivanting with models and party-hopping all over the world.
With all that is going on against him, some may wonder how Jagger ever was considered for a knighthood.
It's because he has at least one very important fan in his corner: Prime Minister Tony Blair, who in his college days was in a band that covered Stones songs. For Blair, this knighthood is apparently about the music.
So while Mick Jagger hasn't changed, Great Britain has — something he may have seen coming all those years ago when he sang "Time Is On My Side."
It turns out that was indeed.