Charlie Watts, popularly known for his work as a drummer for the globally popular band The Rolling Stones, has passed away at the age of 80.
The news of Charlie’s demise was announced by his spokesperson on Tuesday. Stating the news via an email to CNN, the spokesperson wrote, ”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,”
The mail further read, “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.”
Watts and has been playing drums for The Rolling Stones since 1963 for 58 years. The cause of Watts’ death has not been revealed. However, a few months back, the drummer had gone through a surgery/medical procedure for unknown issues.
Born in 1941, Charlie was one of the core members of the group along with Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Keith Richards. The four legends met at one of London’s rhythm and blues clubs, where Charlie used to play. Subsequently, in 1963, he left the Blues and joined Jagger, Richards and Jones and formed The Rolling Stones.
Other than his passion of drums, Watts was also a creative artist. He contributed his talent of graphic art and comic strips for promotion of the band’s work. He also gave a hand in designing the set of the stage for their concerts and tours. One of such works by Watts, which mesmerized people was the lotus-shaped design for stage for The Rolling Stones’ 1975 Tour of the Americas.
As told by his mothers, Charlie was always into playing drums. His parents brought him a drum kit when they realized Charlie’s passion in drumming as he used to “rap out tunes on the table with pieces of wood or a knife and fork.”
Joining the band The Rolling Stones in 1963, Charlie got success as the band succeeded. After one year of Charlie’s association with the band, the Stones reached No. 1 on the British pop charts with their cover of Bobby Womack’s “It’s All Over Now.”
The band became extremely popular and remained on top throughout the years, and even today, The Rolling Stones is celebrated as the legendary band of all times.
Charlie’s demise is certainly a great loos not only for the Rolling Stones, but for the entire music industry. All the members of the band and other musicians and artists paid their tributes to the legendary drummer. Guitarist Ronnie Wood, who joined the band back in 1975, shared an image of him with the late drummer and captioned, “I love you my fellow Gemini – I will dearly miss you – you are the best.”
On the other hand, without expressing much in words, the official website of The Rolling Stones paid homage to Watts by posting only a black-silhouetted portrait of the late drummer.
Mick Jagger did quite the same thing as he paid tribute to his fellow band mate by posting a happy picture of Charlie on drums on his Instagram. Meanwhile, Keith Richards shared his grief by posting a picture of drum set without Charlie behind it.
Other than the band-mates, other musicians, celebrities and artists also took to social media to remember Charlie Watts. The Beatles vocalist Paul McCartney shared a video on his Twitter stating, “Charlie Watts was a lovely guy… I knew he was ill but I didn’t know he was this ill. Lots of love to his family, his wife and kids and his extended family. Condolences to the Stones… It’s a huge blow today because Charlie was a rock and a fantastic drummer. Love You Charlie, I have always loved you… Beautiful man.”
English singer and songwriter Elton John also took it to Twitter to pay his respects to Charlie Watts. John wrote, “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. @therollingstones #CharlieWatts #RIP”
Moreover, in absence of Charlie Watts, the drums will now be played by Steve Jordan at the Rolling Stones’ upcoming tour, which is set to mark it’s beginning on September 26 in St. Louis. Steve, who is a former member of the house bands for “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with David Letterman, was announced to replace Watts when the late drummer underwent his medical procedure.
The band U2 also paid homage to Charlie Watts via tweet which read, “You make a grown man cry…” RIP Charlie Watts (2/6/42-24/8/21) Effortless Elegance, The Rock of The Rolling Stones…”
Midnight Oil remembered the late drummer tweeting, “The coolest drummer with the best sound, a member-of-the-band player rather than a look-at-me soloist, Charlie Watts was a constant inspiration- as musician and as a man. Vale Charlie. People everywhere will mourn your loss today, and dance to your grooves forever.”
Watts is survived by his wife Shirley, his sister Linda, daughter Seraphina and granddaughter Charlotte.