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Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts Is Dead At 80

Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts, the skilled musician who served as the longtime drummer of the Rolling Stones has died. As of this writing, no official cause of death has been shared. Watts was 80 at the time of his passing.

A spokesperson for Charlie Watts confirmed (via Variety) that the legendary musician died Tuesday in London. The statement was also shared by the Rolling Stones and states that Watts was in a London hospital when he passed. The statement also paid loving tribute to the late drummer:

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 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.

Many were surprised when Charlie Watts withdrew from the Rolling Stones’ 2021 US tour. At the time, it was reported that Watts was recovering after having recently undergone a “successful” medical procedure. With his departure, Steve Jordan filled in for him as drummer.

Since news of Charlie Watts’ death broke, tributes have been pouring in from around the music world. Fellow drummer Ringo Starr was among those who took to social media to send their well wishes to Watts’ family:

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Likewise, Joan Jett also took the time to pay tribute to Charlie Watts. She did so by posting a sweet message about the “elegant and dignified” drummer:

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Born on June 2, 1941, Charlie Watts grew up in a London prefab in the aftermath of the German bombings of World War II. Watts developed his love of music early on and as a boy, enjoyed listening to records with his childhood friend and neighbor, jazz musician Dave Green. Watts would receive his first drum set from his parents when he was in his early teens, and it goes without saying that this mark a turning point in the young man’s life.

After starting his career playing in jazz clubs with Dave Green and joining Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated band, Watts met Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ian Stewart and Brian Jones in 1962. In 1963, he would formally join them as a member of the Rolling Stones in 1963, and the rest is music history.

During his tenure with the Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts was highly lauded for his skills as a drummer. Despite this, the no-nonsense, and always stylish, musician had mixed feelings about touring. Nevertheless, as a member of the group, he earned numerous accolades, such as multiple Grammys, Billboard Touring Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. He was also elected, alongside his bandmates, to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. By the time of his passing, Watts had become known as one the music world’s greatest drummers.

With his passing, Charlie Watts leaves behind his wife and a daughter, Serafina.

We here at CinemaBlend extended our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Charlie Watts during this time.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.