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Chrissie Hynde

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Christine Ellen Hynde (born September 7, 1951 in Akron, Ohio) is an American rock musician, best known as the leader of the band The Pretenders. She is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and the only member of the band to remain constant.

Daughter of a part-time secretary and a telephone company worker, Hynde graduated from Firestone High School, admitting “I was never too interested in high school. I mean, I never went to a dance, I never went out on a date, I never went steady. It became pretty awful for me. Except, of course, I could go see bands, and that was the kick. I used to go to Cleveland just to see any band. So I was in love a lot of the time, but mostly with guys in bands that I had never met. For me, knowing that Brian Jones was out there, and later that Iggy Pop was out there, made it kind of hard for me to get too interested in the guys that were around me. I had, uh, bigger things in mind.”

Those “things” included Hynde’s experimentation with hippie counterculture, psychotropic drugs, eastern mysticism, vegetarianism and of course, joining or starting a band. Soon enough, Hynde joined a band called Sat. Sun. Mat. (which included Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo) while attending Kent State University’s Art School for three years. Hynde was on the campus during the infamous “Kent State shootings”.

Hynde also developed an interest in NME when she wasn’t waitressing or working various other jobs to support herself, eventually saving enough money for the move from Ohio to London in 1973.

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