How did a neurotic New Yorker from a chi-chi family weather the death of collaborator Amy Winehouse, getting dumped by his label and the shame of celebrity DJ'ing to score his first No. 1 hit at the age of 39?

Four hours from now, Mark Ronson will learn, via text, that his song "Uptown Funk" has dislodged Taylor Swift from her perch atop the U.S. singles chart, giving him his first No. 1 hit as an artist. For now, he's in his recording studio in an industrial area of North London, not far from where he was born and lives. He's about 6-foot-4, if you include the crown of his hair, and thin, with long legs and bony shoulders. He opens his computer and clicks on "Brand New Car," a song from rapper Action Bronson's next album, due in March.

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