Hynde was originally from Akron, Ohio, but moved to England and began writing for New Musical Express. The Pretenders formed in 1978 and released a successful single, "Stop Your Sobbing" (written by Ray Davies), followed by "Kid" and "Brass in Pocket". The Pretenders, a self-titled album, came out in 1980 and was a success in both the United Kingdom and the United States. While on tour in the US, Hynde met Ray Davies and they fell in love. The Pretenders released their second album, Pretenders II, in 1981. The following year, Pete Farndon was kicked out of the group for drug abuse; ironically, Honeyman-Scott died of a heroin and cocaine overdose two days later. In 1983, Farndon also died of a drug overdose two months after Hynde gave birth to Ray Davies' child.
Hynde reformed the Pretenders with Robbie McIntosh (guitarist; originally from Average White Band) and Malcolm Foster. Learning to Crawl was released to critical acclaim in 1984, followed by Hynde's marriage to Jim Kerr (of Simple Minds). McIntosh, Hynde and a bevy of session musicians released Get Close in 1986. The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr joined the Predenders for brief period after the Smiths's breakup in 1987 Aside from a brief return to popularity with 1994's Last of the Independents, the Pretenders have remained largely silent since then. Viva el Amor was released in 1999.