Paul McCartney, Elton John and More Confirmed on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Hackney Diamonds’

The Rolling Stones have confirmed that Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Lady Gaga, along with original Stones bassist Bill Wyman, and late drummer Charlie Watts will all be featured on the band’s forthcoming 24th album, Hackney Diamonds, out October 20.

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Wonder and Gaga contributed keyboards and vocals, respectively, to the track “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” while John plays piano on “Live by the Sword,” which also features Wyman. McCartney also added some bass to the song “Bite My Head Off.”

[RELATED: 7 Songs You Didn’t Know Stevie Wonder Wrote for Other Artists]

The 12-track Hackney Diamonds is the Rolling Stones’ first new album of material in 18 years since the release of A Bigger Band, and the band’s first album without Watts, who died in 2021. Watts appears on the songs “Live By The Sword” and “Mess It Up,” which he originally recorded with the band in 2019, while new drummer Steve Jordan appears on the remaining tracks.

“Ever since Charlie’s gone, he’s been missed,” said Richards during the band’s recent livestream reveal of the album from Hackney, London. “He’s number four. Of course, he’s missed incredibly, but thanks to Charlie, we have Steve Jordan, who was Charlie’s recommendation. If anything should happen to him, Steve Jordan is your man.”

Though the songs were years in the making, the album came together swiftly for the band. “We do like four or five takes. ‘OK,’ and we move on,” said Mick Jagger. “So no one had time to really think, ‘Well, was this a good song? Should we be doing this song?’ Because I get introspective, you know. Is this song as good as the other one? Is this song like another one I’ve done? You can figure that out later. Let’s keep moving.”

Richards added, “We worked fast, but that was the idea. I’m still recovering.”

[RELATED: 6 Things The Rolling Stones Revealed About ‘Hackney Diamonds’]

For Hackney Diamonds, the band also enlisted producer Andrew Watt, whose work spans Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Pearl Jam, and Eddie Vedder, Miley Cyrus, and more. Jagger revealed that Watt “kicked us up the ass,” during the band’s recent live stream in London, where the band also released their first Hackney Diamonds single “Angry.”

“I wanted it to sound huge because they are larger than life,” said Watt, who wanted the band to record as if they were on stage. “They’re the Stones. When you listen to this album you should picture the Stones playing in a stadium, because that’s what they are.”

Following the release of Hackney Diamonds, there may be a 25th album on the horizon from the Stones. “I don’t think it’s the last Rolling Stones album,” added Watt. “We’ve got almost three-quarters through the next one.”

Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage

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