Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died at the age of 80.
Charlie Watts helped the Rolling Stones become one of the greatest bands in rock ‘n’ roll.
A statement from the band’s publicist announced his death: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts.”
The statement said Charlie Watts was “a cherished husband, father and grandfather” and “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”.
Tributes have come from stars including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Elton John.
Paul McCartney described Charlie Watts as “a lovely guy” and “a fantastic drummer” who was “steady as a rock”.
Elton John tweeted: “A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company.”
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The news came weeks after it was announced that Charlie Watts would miss the band’s US tour dates to recover from an unspecified medical procedure. Charlie Watts was previously treated for throat cancer in 2004.
Charlie Watts had been a member of the Stones since January 1963, when he joined Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones in their fledgling group.
He helped them become, with The Beatles, one of the bands who took rock ‘n’ roll to the masses in the 60s with classics like (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Get Off My Cloud and Sympathy for the Devil.
The statement from the Rolling Stones’ publicist said: “He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today [August 24] surrounded by his family.
“We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”
In 2016, Charlie Watts was ranked 12th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest drummers of all time.
The drummer is survived by his wife Shirley, daughter Seraphina and granddaughter Charlotte.