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May 26, 2017

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Rolling Stones moneyman Rupert Loewenstein passes after bout with Parkinson's

LONDON -- He was the prince who helped make the Rolling Stones as rich as kings.

Prince Rupert Loewenstein, the band's former business manager, helped the Stones churn their musical talent into mountains of gold. He died Tuesday at age 80 in a London hospital after suffering from Parkinson's disease, friend Hugo Vickers said Thursday.

The Oxford-educated aristocrat — whose full name was Prince Rupert Ludwig Ferdinand zu Loewenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg — advised the Stones for almost four decades beginning in 1968.

He was introduced to Mick Jagger by a mutual friend at a time when the Stones were eager to extricate themselves from their relationship with American manager Allen Klein.

"Rupert was a merchant banker, very pukka, trustworthy," Keith Richards said in his autobiography "Life" — and he proved invaluable to the band.

Loewenstein saw the Stones through their labyrinthine legal dispute with Klein, masterminded their year of tax exile in the south of France in the 1970s and oversaw their transformation from a rackety rock group to a formidable money-making machine that pioneered the lucrative mega-tour with the "Steel Wheels" extravaganza in 1989.

"He is a great financial mind for the market," Richards told Fortune magazine in 2002. "He plays that like I play guitar ... as long as there's a smile on Rupert's face, I'm cool."

Born in Majorca in 1933, Loewenstein studied medieval history at Oxford University before becoming a stockbroker and banker. Vickers said, despite their very different backgrounds, Loewenstein and Jagger "absolutely clicked," and the prince became closely involved in the band members' lives.

Loewenstein's funeral will be held May 30 in London. He is survived by his wife Josephine, two sons and a daughter.

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