November 25, 2012 11:12

The Rolling Stones add special guests Mary J Blige, Jeff Beck to O2 show

Legendary band kick off their 50th anniversary celebrations with gig in London tonight (November 25)

The Rolling Stones add special guests Mary J Blige, Jeff Beck to O2 show

Photo: Phil Wallis/NME

The Rolling Stones have announced that Mary J Blige and Jeff Beck will join them at their gig at the O2 Arena tonight (November 25).

The band play the first of two shows at the London venue tonight, as they kick off a series of gigs as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. They announced the addition of the R&B singer and the guitar legend on their website yesterday (November 24).

Earlier this week it was confirmed that former band members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor will join the Stones onstage at their London shows. The pair will play with the band for the first time in over 20 years for the concerts at the O2 Arena tonight and Thursday (29).

Bass player Wyman played with the Stones from 1962 until 1992 while guitarist Taylor played with the Stones from 1969 to 1974. Both were interviewed in the recent official 50th anniversary documentary Crossfire Hurricane, in which Taylor revealed that one of the reasons he left the band had been down to his heroin addiction.

On Friday (November 23), guitarist Ronnie Wood admitted that The Rolling Stones had still not decided the running order for tonight's first London show.

Speaking to the Evening Standard at a gala in memory of Amy Winehouse in London this week, Wood said: "We've been thinking long and hard about the setlist but to be honest we still haven’t finalised it. You forget how hard it is. But I couldn’t miss this tonight — it’s such an amazing cause."

He added: "It's intense but that’s what we do — people have paid a lot of money for their tickets and we have to get it right."

Along with their gigs at London's 02 Arena, The Rolling Stones will also perform at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on December 8 and at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on December 13 and 15.

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