With eight children by five different women over 47 years, it’s a wonder Sir Mick Jagger, now well into his eighth decade, can keep track of his ever-expanding family.
But the 74-year-old Rolling Stone never has any trouble recalling which offspring are his.
Whether it’s eldest child Karis, 47, or one-year-old Deveraux, newest apple of Daddy’s eye, there’s an easy way of working it out: they all look uncannily like Mick.
Despite having five different mothers — Sixties siren Marsha Hunt, Texan model Jerry Hall, philanthropist Bianca Jagger, Brazilian TV host Luciana Morad and ballerina Melanie Hamrick — all his brood are mirror images of their Dad.
Mick and Jade, aged 29: The same mischievous twinkle, toothy grin and cheeky dimples . . . it’s clear that jewellery designer Jade, now 46, doesn’t take after mum Bianca
Mick and Georgia May, aged 20: Apart from the hair, there’s little trace of Jerry in this 2012 shot of model Georgia May — the pout and jawline are identical to Mick in 1964. But Mick’s peepers are blue and Georgia’s green…
Mick and Karis, aged 19: They’re close now, but Mick once tried to disown his daughter by Marsha Hunt. Karis is 47 and an actress, and the Jagger charisma shines out
Mick and Elizabeth, aged 22: Mick’s eldest child with Jerry Hall, model Elizabeth, 33, pictured here in 2006, has the Jagger lips, strong eyebrows and tousled locks that made her father a teen idol
From their piercing blue eyes to those trademark dimples, it’s clear the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. What’s more, compare pictures of a younger Mick at different ages to those of his offspring — and it’s almost impossible to tell them apart.
Georgia May, his fourth youngest at 25, is a case in point. From her naturally wild brunette locks to those enviable cupid’s bow lips, model Georgia is the image of her father at her age. Indeed, it’s only since she’s started dyeing her hair blonde that she resembles her mother, Jerry Hall, at all.
James, Mick’s eldest son at 32, shares a mother with Georgia, but he, too, looks only like his dad, as seen in these images of both in sports kit, aged 12. Then, they sported the same tousled hair and gawky expression — and even now share identical full lips and razor-sharp cheekbones. In fact, when James, a musician-turned-actor, starred in Vinyl, a TV series about the Seventies music scene, last year, it was like watching retro footage of Mick, so similar were their pouts, sneers and self-assured gestures on stage.
So what does science have to say: why is every one of Mick’s brood a chip off the old block?
Well, for years there was a theory that children — particularly before the age of five — looked more like their fathers than their mothers. This was said to have a simple evolutionary explanation: the early resemblance could be seen as a primitive way of proving paternity, thereby encouraging the father to bond with the child.
This got some backing in 1995, when a study in Nature magazine showed that people were better at matching photographs of one-year-old children with pictures of their fathers than their mothers.
There’s no denying Mick has quite distinctive assets — those large lips and ears, a wide flat nose, pronounced cheekbones, a rounded chin — and scientists say it’s unsurprising these are passed down to his offspring.
‘Anything that is a striking part of someone’s appearance will give a particular look to their offspring,’ explains Dr Anand Saggar, senior consultant in clinical genetics at St George’s NHS Trust.
In general, this refers to darker skin, eye and hair tones as well.
‘If one parent has a much darker skin colour than the other, for example, the child’s skin is likely to be a darker shade [than the paler-skinned parent],’ he adds.
‘The same applies to eye colour — any dark colouration will be inherited to some degree.
‘Particular features, such as eye shape or lip size — and Mick Jagger has some very unique features — are the same. It’s like putting a drop of coloured paint into a pot of white: you only need the tiniest drop to change the base colour.’
Look at the striking shot of Gabriel, now 20, another of Jerry’s children, as an 18-month-old: the scrunched-up, chubby face and rounded chin look remarkably like his dad’s at that same age.
Or the resemblance between 18-year-old Lucas, Luciana Morad’s only child with Mick, and his father at 18: the hair, hooded eyes, long nose with its flat base and wide, flared nostrils — he could be nobody else’s son.
When it comes to parental resemblance, geneticists also talk about the phenomenon of ‘dominant’ and ‘recessive’ traits. Dominant traits include brown eyes, dark hair, dimples, unattached earlobes and plump lips, while recessive traits include other eye colours, ginger or fair hair and baldness.
Mick is fortunate to possess almost entirely dominant traits.Inheriting just one ‘dominant’ trait from a parent makes it likely the child will display this characteristic, while they need two copies of the ‘recessive’ one for it to show through. ‘Blue eyes — like Sir Mick’s — are in fact a recessive trait,’ explains Cambridge geneticist Dr Giles Yeo. ‘You’d normally expect both parents to have blue eyes for this to be inherited.’ Handy, then, that Mick seems to have a bit of a thing for blue- eyed women.
Mick and Lucas, aged 18: Mick’s son with Brazilian TV host Luciana Morad was 18 this year and he’s rocking the same raffish charm as Mick at the start of his singing career
Mick and Gabriel, aged 18 months: In 1999, Gabriel, now 20 and a model, was the image of his dad, not mum Jerry
Mick and Devi, aged three: Mick Jagger aged three in 1946 (left) and youngest child Devi, aged one, by ballerina Melanie Hamrick
Mick and James, aged 12: Mick and Jerry’s eldest boy, James, now 32 and an actor, echoed his father’s floppy quiff
Jade, 46, his second-eldest child has clearly inherited her father’s full lips and those defined dimples — two dominant traits which mean she looks far more like him than her mother, Bianca.
Karis, the product of a nine-month affair between Mick and Marsha Hunt, shares several facial features not only with her father but her paternal grandparents: those deep-set, almond-shaped eyes, pronounced chin and larger-than-life lips.
‘It’s a very complicated science, but there are certainly some inherited traits that are more obvious to the eye than others — and from these we can discern familial resemblance,’ explains Dr Yeo.
There is, finally, the influence of epigenetics: chemical modifications which switch certain genes on and off, based on environmental factors.
These are most relevant when it comes to illness or disease, but experts say they can also influence features such as body shape and height.
Elizabeth Jagger, 33, has a strikingly similar slim, willowy frame and smouldering expression to her father.
Indeed, at 5ft 8in, the pair are exactly the same height — which may have something to do with epigenetics.
Then there’s little Deveraux — ‘Devi’ — who, having celebrated his first birthday, is the newest addition to the Jagger clan.
In this photo, posted online this week by his mother — 31-year-old ballerina Melanie Hamrick — the chubby-cheeked, blue-eyed toddler is the picture of innocence.
Then again, Daddy looked just the same at his age . . .