Meet Merry Clayton, The Iconic Voice Behind The Rolling Stones' Hit Song "Gimmie Shelter"

July 2, 2018

You've heard her voice plenty of times, but have you ever stopped and wondered who the woman was with the spine-tingling voice singing backup on "Gimmie Shelter"?

Meet Merry Clayton. From the 2013 documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, Merry and Rolling Stones vocalist Mick Jagger described their experiences singing together on the timeless rock hit. "It was very late at night and I was very... pregnant," says Merry. "Had curlers and the whole thing in my head, getting ready to go to bed. We got a call. 'Merry, there's a group of guys in town called Rolling... Rolling somebodies. And they're from England, and they need somebody that will sing with them.' They picked me up with silk pajamas on, a mink coat, and a Chanel scarf on my head!"

"It was in the middle of the night and we thought we would love if a woman sing this part," says Mick Jagger. "I was a kind of raunchy part to sing."

"I said, 'what?' Rape, murder?" Merry responded. "It's just a shot away."

"She sings the lyrics right along with me and with a lot of personality... which was needed." adds Mick.

"He said, 'You wanna do another one?' And I said, 'Sure, I'll do another one.' So I said to myself, 'I'm gonna do another one, and I'm gonna blow them outta this room!'"

The end result of that take was Merry's chilling solo piece where her voice cracks with such passion that she even gets a cheerful "Woo!" from Mick on top of it.

Watch the full clip below!