For almost 60 years, Charlie Watts provided the unmistakable rhythm for the Rolling Stones, but on Tuesday, surrounded by family and loved ones, the legendary drummer died.
A statement from Watts’ spokesperson read:
“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.”
On the Rolling Stones’ website, not a single word exists as the page is simply adorned with a full-screen photo of Watts in a gray peacoat and a smirk that became familiar to those who watched the band live.
In August, Watts, 80, said he would not join Rolling Stones for their 2021 “No Filter Tour,” which was set to begin on Sept. 26 in St. Louis.
While not specified, Watts’ spokesperson announced that the drummer had undergone a successful medical procedure that he needed to recover from.
Singer, songwriter and former bassist for the Beatles, Paul McCartney, said he knew Watts was sick, “but didn’t know he was this ill.”
“Condolences to ‘the Stones’ this is a huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock and fantastic drummer,” McCartney said in an Instagram post. “Love you Charlie. I always loved you… and great condolences and sympathies to his family.”
Several more musicians offered their condolences on social media, from Axl Rose and Gene Simmons to Elton John and Billy Idol, the world mourns the passing of one of the most iconic drummers in the music world.