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Chrissie Hynde - Rock Chick with a Conscience

American singer/songwriter Chrissie Hynde made her name in the 1970s and 1980s fronting the successful rock band The Pretenders. A band that produced many memorable melodic rock songs, The Pretenders were heavily reliant on Chrissie Hynde's vulnerable voice and excellent songwriting ability. As well as a successful career in music, Chrissie Hynde is a passionate supporter of animal rights.

Chrissie Hynde was born in Akron, Ohio in 1951, and was a student at Kent State University when the infamous lethal shooting of four anti-war protestors occurred. Known for her anti-establishment views, this traumatic incident may well have been the catalyst for her future beliefs.

Coming to England

Coming to England in the early 1970s, Chrissie ended up as a journalist on the esteemed music weekly NME. She really wanted a career as a performer and songwriter in a band, but found it difficult to make an impression - though she had some interesting contacts, including being romantically linked to Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious.

The Best Of / Break Up The Concrete ~ Pretenders The Best Of / Break Up The Concrete ~ Pretenders

The Birth of The Pretenders

In 1978, Chrissie Hynde formed The Pretenders, and their music was certainly more commercially viable than a lot of the music from the punk scene she had initially gravitated towards. The group's debut single was Stop Your Sobbing - a song written by future partner and Kinks legend Ray Davies. The riff of Brass in Pocket turned on the British public enough to give The Pretenders their first number one single in 1979.

Dramatic 1980s

The years between 1982 and 1985 were dramatic for Chrissie Hynde. Two founder members of The Pretenders, Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott, both died through drug abuse. Chrissie's relationship with Ray Davies produced a daughter, Natalie Ray, but the couple split, before Chrissie Hynde married Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr in 1984. Chrissie had a UK number one single in 1985 with UB40, when covering the Sonny and Cher classic I Got You Babe.


After giving birth to her second daughter, Yasmin, Chrissie disbanded The Pretenders, but reformed them again. She divorced Jim Kerr, married Lucho Brieva, an artist, in 1997, but they later separated. Her songwriting, singing, guitar playing and fringed hairstyle has made Chrissie Hynde one of the most striking and talented of rock chicks.

- Paul Rance/ Pretenders CDs

Live at the Isle of View

Loose Screw
Pretenders Pretenders DVDs

Pretenders, The - Greatest Hits
Pretenders, The - Live Pretenders CDs

Last of the Independents
Viva el Amor


1980 – Pretenders
1981 – Pretenders II
1984 – Learning To Crawl
1986 – Get Close
1990 – Packed!
1994 – Last Of The Independents
1999 – Viva el Amor
2002 – Loose Screw
2008 – Break Up The Concrete

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