Charlie Watts has died at the age of 80 on August 24, as Variety reported. For nearly six decades, he served as the drummer for The Rolling Stones.
Watts’ death was announced via an official statement from the iconic British rock band’s Twitter account. “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” the statement read, which revealed the musician had died in a hospital in London. “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.”
As of this writing, Watts’ cause of death is unclear, but Variety noted that the legendary drummer had dealt with a medical issue in either late July or early August. It was also enough for Watts to cancel his plans to tour with the rest of his bandmates — including singer Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, and bassist Ronnie Wood – which was set to kick off in September. The Rolling Stones have yet to report if they plan to proceed with the U.S. tour, which was previously postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic — their website has been replaced with a full-scale image of Watts. Here’s more.
Charlie Watts died shortly after a recent medical procedure
According to Variety, on August 4, the late Charlie Watts (pictured above with Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger) decided to opt-out of The Rolling Stones’ upcoming U.S. tour. The news came alongside a statement about his health. “Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but I gather his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation,” a spokesperson stated. “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.”
While it is unclear as to whether there is any connection between Watts’ prior, undisclosed health issue and his death on August 24, Variety also noted that this is not the first time the drummer has dealt with serious health issues. Aside from substance use in the 1970s and 1980s, Watts was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004, but “successfully recovered,” per the outlet. Joining The Rolling Stones’ lineup in 1963, Watts continued performing live and recording until the age of 78, and it seems he would have kept going if it weren’t for the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Watts is survived by his wife of 54 years, Shirley Ann Shephard, per NME, and daughter Serafina. He is a rock legend and will surely be deeply missed.
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