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27 Rockers Going Strong After 70

The retirement threshold was just the beginning for these legends

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Paul Simon was just twenty-six years old when he looked his distant future with Art Garfunkel on the song "Old Friends." "Can you imagine us years from today sharing a park bench silently," he wrote. "How terribly strange to be seventy." That "terribly strange" birthday arrived in October of 2011, and Paul wasn't exactly a mute, geriatric figure on a park bench. He was on tour promoting his fantastic new album So Beautiful or So What, singing and playing as well as ever. And he's far from alone. Many of his peers have crossed the seventy threshold in recent years, and most of them are still touring and recording. Here's a look at thirty rock stars past their 70th birthday. —Andy Greene

graham nash

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Graham Nash (71)

Birthday: 2/2/42
Age When First Single Came Out: 21
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 45
Most Recent Album: Crosby & Nash (2004)
Last Top 40 Hit: "Southern Cross" (1982)
Current Status: He just released a memoir and is on a rare solo tour.

paul mccartney

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Paul McCartney (71)

Birthday: 6/18/42
Age When First Single Came Out: 20
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 45
Most Recent Album: New (2013)
Last Top 40 Hit: "My Brave Face" (1989)
Current Status: He just released a new album and still stages marathon, three-hour stadium concerts all over the world.

charlie watts

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Charlie Watts (72)

Birthday: 6/2/41
Age When First Single Came Out: 22
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 46
Most Recent Album: A Bigger Bang (2005)
Last Top 40 Hit: "Rock and a Hard Place" (1989)
Current Status: He survived throat cancer in 2005, and continues to tour with his jazz band when the Rolling Stones aren't active.

ringo starr

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Ringo Starr (73)

Birthday: 7/7/40
Age When First Single Came Out: 22
Age When Inducted Into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 47
Most Recent Album: Ringo 2012 (2012)
Last Top 40 Hit: "Wrack My Brain" (1981)
Current Status: Every couple of years he tours with a new All Starr Band.

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Smokey Robinson (73)

Birthday: 2/19/40
Age When First Single Came Out: 19
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 46
Most Recent Album: Time Flies When You're Having Fun (2009)
Last Top 40 Hit: "One Heartbeat" (1987)
Current Status: Robinson tours year round, performing songs from his solo career as well as Miracles classics and songs he wrote for other artists, such as "My Girl"  for the Temptations.

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Dion DiMucci (74)

Birthday: 7/18/39
Age When First Single Came Out: 18
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 49
Most Recent Album: Tank Full of Blues (2012)
Last Top 40 Hit: "Abraham, Martin and John" (1968)
Current Status: Dion only performs a handful of times a year, but he continues to release blues albums. He opened up for Bob Dylan at a series of shows in 2009.

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Garth Hudson (76)

Birthday: 8/2/37
Age When First Single Came Out: 28
Age When Inducted Into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 57
Most Recent Album: Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of The Band (2010)
Last Top 40 Hit: "Don't Do It" (1972)
Current Status: Hudson is a busy session musician, recording with everybody from Neko Case to the Secret Machines.

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Frankie Valli (79)

Birthday: 5/3/34
Age When First Single Came Out: 19
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 56
Most Recent Album: Romancing the '60s (2007)
Last Top 40 Hit: "Grease" (1978)
Current Status: Valli is still hitting the high notes with a new lineup of the Four Seasons. He also acts occasionally and even appeared on an episode of The Sopranos.

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Leonard Cohen (79)

Birthday: 9/21/34
Age When First Single Came Out: 33
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 73
Most Recent Album: Old Ideas (2012)
Last Top 40 Hit: "None
Current Status: He heads to Australia at the end of this year for another leg of his Old Ideas tour. 

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Little Richard (80)

Birthday: 12/2/32
Age When First Single Came Out: 23
Age When Inducted Into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 53
Most Recent Album: Shake It All About (1992)
Last Top 40 Hit: "Ooh! My Soul" (1958)
Current Status: Little Richard has been plagued by health problems in recent years and is largely confined to a wheelchair, but still makes occasional brief live appearances.

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Fats Domino (85)

Birthday: 2/26/28
Age When First Single Came Out: 21
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 57
Most Recent Album: Christmas Is A Special Day (1993)
Last Top 40 Hit: "Red Sails In The Sunset" (1963)
Current Status: Domino has retired from performing, but he did recently appear as himself on an episode of Treme.

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Chuck Berry (86)

Birthday: 10/18/26
Age When First Single Came Out: 28
Age When Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 59
Most Recent Album: Rock It (1979)
Last Top 40 Hit: "My Ding-a-Ling" (1972)
Current Status: Berry performs once a month at Blueberry Hill in his native St. Louis.