The lovely Marsha Hunt was born April 15, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania renowned as the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the American Flag.
(Image of Marsha Hunt as it appeared on her book "Undefeated" - Amazon.com - All Rights Reserved)
The family emphasis was on academics and taking advantage of the opportunities opening up for Negroes in the 1950s. Her mother, her primary parent, was a librarian, and her father, educated at Harvard was one of America's first Negro psychiatrists.
Marsha was an academic star, but she was also under the spell of another powerful influence. To youngsters in that decade, Philly was the pop music mecca of America, the home of ‘American Bandstand'. Kids in that city lived and breathed music. Marsha was no exception. She loved to dance.
Marsha studied at the University of California, Berkeley (at the time of the student riots).
In the late 1960s she moved to Britain. She was 19 and found herself penniless in London, the new music and fashion mecca: home of the Beatles, the Animals, Donovan, Gerry and the Pace Makers, Herman's Hermits and the Rolling Stones. Home of Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon and mini-skirts.
Thanks to the English imagining that all American Negroes could sing, while Marsha took part time jobs to earn her fare back home, one was a singing job with a founder of the London's blues scene, Alexis Korner. It began a music career that would last fifteen years.
In 1968 she captured the curiosity and admiration of the world when she was photographed with her trademark big "natural" hairstyle which back then was known as an Afro or fro.
Marsha Hunt is the inspiration of the Stones' hit "Brown Sugar". At the time a member of the cast in the London production of the musical Hair (playing "Dionne"), Hunt reportedly approached Jagger at a party and, rather bluntly, informed him that she wanted to have his baby.
Jagger obliged her, but would not enter into a long-term relationship with Hunt, who, consequently, had to bring up her daughter Karis, Jagger (born November 4, 1970 in the UK) as a single mother (although she also wanted to make her way in show business).
Jagger even denied being Karis's father and refused payments. A lengthy lawsuit followed, and a settlement making him support Hunt and their daughter was only reached in 1979.
Mick Jagger has been close to Karis for many years. She would often vacation with Jagger and his family as a teenager. He attended Karis's graduation from Yale, her wedding in 2000 and was at the hospital for the birth of her son in 2004.
Hunt was also professionally associated with musicians such as Alexis Korner, John Mayall, Elton John, and Marc Bolan.
In her later years Hunt has taken to writing. After her 1986 autobiography, "Real Life: The Story of a Survivor", she published her first novel, Joy, in 1990, and her second novel, "Free", in 1992.
In late 2004, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and had surgery to remove her right breast and her lymph nodes. She has written about it in a memoir, "Undefeated", and has been the subject of a documentary, "Beating Breast Cancer" on ITV, broadcast on September 26, 2005.
As of 2010 Marsha has lived in Ireland since 1995. She also lives in France where she owns a home.
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