The rock ‘n’ roll world is remembering legendary drummer Charlie Watts who has passed away at the age of 80.
A member of The Rolling Stones since 1963, Charlie played with the band for almost 60 years, his beats defining their music.
His death comes weeks after it was revealed he would be sitting out their 2021 US No Filter tour in order to recover from a medical procedure.
A statement shared via The Rolling Stones’ social media reads:
“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.”
Remembering his friend and bandmate, Mick Jagger simply shared a photo of Charlie sitting behind a drum kit, laughing:
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The Beatles’ Paul McCartney was among the first to share his condolences, posting a video to social media remembering his friend:
“So sad to hear about Charlie Watts. He was a lovely guy. I knew he was ill, I didn’t know he was this ill. Lots of love to his family, his wife and kids and his extended family. And condolences to The Stones. A huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock and a fantastic drummer. Steady as a rock. Love you Charlie. I’ve always loved you. Beautiful man and great condolences and sympathies to his family.”
Paul on Charlie Watts ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rn2elK6cFE
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 24, 2021
Ringo Starr posted “we’re going to miss you man, peace and love to the family whilst Lenny Kravitz described him as “The beat of The Stones.”
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) August 24, 2021
Elton John says Charlie was the “ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company.”
A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) August 24, 2021
Aussie star Keith Urban says he’s “the heart beat of one of the greatest bands of all time, a truly one of a kind musician whose influence in unquantifiable AND will continue to be for as long as there are musicians who are working to shed all that is not needed, to get to THE ESSENCE.”
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Joan Jett shared a similar sentiment, also describing him as “one of a kind.”
Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed – no more – no less. He is one of a kind. pic.twitter.com/aasPZ2fMYX
— Joan Jett (@joanjett) August 24, 2021
Fellow rocker Sebastian Bach writes; “somehow I had it in my brain that none of the Rolling Stones would ever die. When I think about Charlie’s drumming, I think of the song Emotional Rescue and the whole album Black and Blue which is my favourite Stones album by far. A lifetime of inspiration.”
Perhaps actor Josh Gad sums it up best, sharing a video from a Stones’ concert he went to in 2018.
“He could have played into his 90’s, but alas one of the true legends of Rock is now jamming with John, George, Prince, Hendrix, Petty and all of the others who left too soon.”
He could have played into his 90’s, but alas one of the true legends of Rock is now jamming with John, George, Prince, Hendrix, Petty and all of the others who left too soon. So blessed to have seen him in London in ‘18. RIP #CharlieWatts pic.twitter.com/9k44QcQ5CX
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 24, 2021
Charlie was a throat cancer survivor and overcame addiction.
He was married to wife Shirley for 57 years, tying the knot before the Stones rose to fame, and has one daughter, Seraphina.
(Feature Image Credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com)