Chrissie Hynde 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. Born in 1951 in Akron, Ohio, she made a name for herself in England as a rock journalist before forming The Pretenders with English musicians James Honeyman-Scott, Pete Farndon, and Martin Chambers. The Pretenders lineup would change over the years as a result of tragedies and interpersonal conflicts; through these changes Hynde's leadership of the band solidified. Her guitar of choice is a white Fender Telecaster.
As a rare female bandleader and style-setter in the early days of punk and new wave, Hynde has been highly influential. Her brash style in her appearance, outspokenness in interviews and songwriting, and punk sensibility earned her the respect of other musicians and critics, and the admiration of many young women who were inspired to imitate her. She recorded a song with UB40 as well as numerous recordings with The Pretenders.
Chrissie Hynde had a child in 1983 with Ray Davies of The Kinks (a cover version of the Davies song "Stop Your Sobbing" had been an early hit for the Pretenders, and Hynde met Davies several years later, a meeting which bloomed into a long-term relationship). She was later married to musician Jim Kerr of the band Simple Minds, and had a child with him as well. She married artist Lucho Brieva in 1997 and currently resides with him in London. Chrissie Hynde has been in the news in recent years as a high-profile animal rights activist.