No cause of death has yet been revealed but he was previously treated for throat cancer in 2004.
The prolific drummer was the backbone of the iconic rock band for over half a century and lauded among the greats like Keith Moon, Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. With his influences deeply rooted in the dapper jazz scene, Watts was cherished for his elegant style that often set him apart from his famous bandmates and peers.
The news of his passing was confirmed via Fox News (August 24), with a representative for the Watts family announcing that the musician “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.”
The Rolling Stones shared a moving tribute to their bandmate via social media, describing the band’s “immense sadness” and requesting privacy for his “family, band members and close friends... at this difficult time.”
Watts was respected worldwide for his muscular and swinging, syncopated rhythms that surely propelled the band’s gilded path to international superstardom.
After joining the legendary British rock band in 1963, Watts was one of the longest-serving Stones members and, alongside Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the only to have featured on every one of the band’s studio albums, right up until their most recent release of a covers record titled Blue & Lonesome in 2016.
A statement released by the Stones’ publicist described Charlie as “a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”
The Rolling Stones | (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction [Live on The Ed Sullivan Show]
News of Watts’ health concerns were raised earlier this year when it was announced that, for the first time in almost 60 years, he would not be joining the band on their 2021 US No Filter due to an undisclosed medical procedure.
As Variety reported at the time, a spokesperson said: “Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation. With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing, to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming.”
Tributes have been pouring in for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who will be greatly missed by his family friends and fans alike. Vale Charlie Watts.
Paul on Charlie Watts ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rn2elK6cFE— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 24, 2021
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
@therollingstones #CharlieWatts #RIP pic.twitter.com/9rjSSgioZL
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