Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died at the age of 80. Watts had been recovering from an undisclosed surgery that had sidelined him from The Rolling Stones Tour.
Watts joined The Rolling Stones in 1963 and with a 58 year run, he was the third longest tenured member of the band behind Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The Rolling Stones are a band that has had its share of drama for decades. At the same time, Watts was often looked as a calming, steadying influence on the band.
A spokesperson for the musician confirmed the news of his death on Tuesday:
It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.
Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation.
We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.
Throughout his success with the band, Watts had his challenges. He had noted that he use of alcoholic and drugs nearly cost him his marriage in the 1980s. In 2004, he was diagnosed with throat cancer that eventually went into remission.
“He was a lovely guy. I knew he was ill, but I didn’t know he was this ill….Charlie was rock, fantastic drummer, steady as a rock. Love you Charlie. Always loved you. Beautiful. Great condolences and sympathies to his family,” commented Sir Paul McCartney on a video statement. For many years there was a creative rivalry between McCartney’s Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
“I’m just shocked to hear about Charlie Watts. I don’t know what to say, I feel terrible for Charlie’s family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records. Love & Mercy,” said Brian Wilson. Wilson’s Beach Boys also had a creative rivalry with the Stones.
This is a developing story and will be updated periodically.
Photo Credit: Rolling Stones Social Media.