Charlie Watts dead – Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards lead tributes for drummer as cause of death unknown

LEGENDARY Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has passed away age 80.

Watts, who has been with the band since the early 1960s heyday, pulled out of their US tour just weeks ago following an unspecified medical procedure.

It was initially reported that he was taking time to recover with the band saying they hoped to reunite with him again soon.

However his publicist confirmed yesterday that Charlie had passed away "peacefully" surrounded by his loved ones.

Read our Charlie Watts blog below for the latest updates on his death

  • Milica Cosic

    EXPLAINED: WAS CHARLIE WATTS MARRIED?

    Unlike his bandmates with their multiple marriages, Charlie Watts has remained faithfully married to one woman for nearly 60 years.

    Watts wed Shirley Ann Shepherd, who met before the band were famous, in October 1964 and they went onto to have one daughter, Seraphina, in 1968.

  • Milica Cosic

    MICK JAGGER & KEITH RICHARDS POST TOUCHING PICS IN TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE WATTS AFTER ROLLING STONES DRUMMER’S DEATH AT 80

    A host of famous faces have paid their tributes to the music legend, who passed away just weeks after pulling out of the band's US tour.

    Mick, 78, was the first member from the band to comment.

    He took to Instagram and shared a smiling shot of Charlie sitting in his familiar spot, behind a drum kit.

    The poignant post needed no caption and fans flocked to share their condolences.

    Keith, 77, also shared a poetic post on Twitter on Tuesday evening, an empty drum set with a "closed" sign hanging from it.

  • Milica Cosic

    WHAT WAS CHARLIE WATTS' NET WORTH?

    Charlie is regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time and had a bank balance to prove it.

    The musician managed to accumulate a vast amount of wealth during his 60 years in the Rolling Stones.

    Charlie had a net worth of a whopping £200M.

  • Milica Cosic

    ALICE COOPER’S TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE WATTS

    The rocker said in a statement:”We have lost one of rock and roll’s true gentlemen. Charlie Watts kept the beat for the world’s greatest rock band for over 50 years. I consider him the greatest pocket drummer of all time.

    “Every time I would go backstage to see The Rolling Stones, Charlie was the first to greet me. He will be sorely missed and impossible to replace but I’ve no doubt The Stones will go on. My message to Charlie? Rest In Beat!”

  • Milica Cosic

    THE “QUIET, ELEGANTLY DRESSED” DRUMMER WHO CHANGED ROCK AND ROLL HISTORY

    The quiet, elegantly dressed Watts was often ranked with Keith Moon, Ginger Baker and a handful of others as a premier rock drummer, respected worldwide for his muscular, swinging style as the band rose from its scruffy beginnings to international superstardom.

    He has been a part of the group for nearly 60 years, ranked just behind Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as the group’s longest lasting and most essential member.

    The Stones began, Watts said, “as white blokes from England playing Black American music” but quickly evolved their own distinctive sound. Watts was a jazz drummer in his early years and never lost his affinity for the music he first loved, heading his own jazz band and taking on numerous other side projects.

    A classic Stones song like “Brown Sugar” and “Start Me Up” often began with a hard guitar riff from Richards, with Watts following closely behind.

    Watts’ speed, power and time keeping were never better showcased than during the concert documentary, “Shine a Light,” when director Martin Scorsese filmed “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” from where he drummed toward the back of the stage.

  • Milica Cosic

    YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

    When being interviewed by the Guardian ahead of the band headlining Glastonbury in 2013, Watts was less than enthused about the prospect of a weekend on the Tor.

    He confessed he hated playing festivals and “never really liked the hippie thing”. Watts said the particular issue for him with playing outdoors was the wind as it moves his cymbals as he tries to play.

    Reflecting on the famous Hyde Park gig his main gripe was that his wife had been furious as she had been hit by a stale sandwich.

  • Milica Cosic

    EXPLAINED: HOW DID CHARLIE WATTS BECOME FAMOUS?

    Charlie Watts first met four of the original members of the Rolling Stones – Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards – in 1962 but didn’t officially join until January 1963.

    Despite the late start he was one of the group’s longest serving members.

    He outlasted Ian Stewart, who was removed from the main lineup later that year, and Brian Jones who died in 1969.

  • Milica Cosic

    EXPLAINED: WHERE DID CHARLIE WATTS LIVE?

    Born in London in 1941, Charlie Watts rose to fame when he joined the Rolling Stones in 1963 as the band's drummer.

    He survived by his wife Shirley – who he married in 1964 – and their one child, Seraphina.

    The couple lived in the rural Devonshire village of Dolton where they ran an Arabian stud farm.

    Charlie also owned a mansion in Islington where he would also stay when he was in the captial.

  • Milica Cosic

    THE REMAINING BEATLES PAY TRIBUTE

    Ringo Starr

    “God bless Charlie Watts, we’re going to miss you man, peace and love to the family, Ringo.”

    Paul McCartney

    “I knew he was ill but I didn’t know he was this ill… Condolences to the Stones. It’s a huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock and a fantastic drummer, steady as a rock.”

  • Milica Cosic

    ONE OF THE FINAL PHOTOS WITH WIFE OF 57 YEARS SHIRLEY

    The poignant final picture shows Watts, dressed in a beige suit and black loafers, next to his wife of 57 years Shirley, as they adopt a rescued greyhound from the charity Forever Hounds Trust.

    It was taken at a charity event in May 2020 and the couple beamed as they welcomed five-year-old Suzie into their lives after her years of racing.

    Stones drummer Charlie Watts with wife Shirley in one of the final photos before his death
  • Milica Cosic

    'ROLLING STONES’ CHARLIE WATTS WAS THE CALM LYNCHPIN WHO HELD THE BAND TOGETHER'

    A year younger than The Beatles’ Ringo Starr, his death at 80 is a sign that time is running out for the old guard who changed popular music for ever in the Sixties.

    For all Mick’s swagger, Keith’s mischief and Ronnie’s bonhomie, Charlie was the Stones’ lynchpin. He was the quiet, dapper, jazz-loving, antique-collecting sticksman who sat at the back of the stage holding it all together.

    Frontmen and lead guitarists get most of the limelight but drummers like Watts kept the all-important rhythm going.

    Just ask Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant about John Bonham, or The Who’s Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey about Keith Moon.

    Despite his calm exterior, Watts was happy to join in the fun occasionally.

    Read more here.

  • Milica Cosic

    ‘NOT JUST THE DRUMMER’

    Friends and colleagues say Charlie Watts was mostly a mild mannered guy – but not to be messed with.

    According to Keith Richards’ autobiography, frontman Mick Jagger provoked his ire during a tour stop in Amsterdam in 1984 by asking where “his drummer” was.

    Watts calmly got up, put on a suit and punched Jagger in the face – informing him he was not “his drummer” and Jagger was instead “his singer”, The Times reports.

  • Milica Cosic

    WAS CHARLIE WATTS MARRIED?

    Unlike his bandmates with their multiple marriages, Charlie Watts has remained faithfully married to one woman for nearly 60 years.

    Watts wed Shirley Ann Shepherd, who met before the band were famous, in October 1964 and they went onto to have one daughter, Seraphina, in 1968.

  • Milica Cosic

    WHO WAS CHARLIE WATTS AND WHAT WAS HIS CAUSE OF DEATH? (CONTINUED…)

    Watts' publicist announced that the rock legend had passed away, but the cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

    In August 2021, Watts underwent a procedure for an unspecified medical issue which meant he was forced to miss part of the classic band's US tour. Watts was replaced by Steve Jordan.

    At the time, bandmate Ronnie Wood insisted the planned shows would go on with or without Watts.

    Charlie's publicist confirmed the rock and roll legend died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family.

    His said in a statement: "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 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."

  • Milica Cosic

    WHO WAS CHARLIE WATTS AND WHAT WAS HIS CAUSE OF DEATH?

    Charlie Watts rose to fame when he joined the Rolling Stones in 1963.

    He also designed the band's record sleeves and tour stages.

    In 2006 he was elected into the Modern Drummer hall of fame.

    Charlie was regarded as one of the greatest drummers in rock history.

    The beat maker helped propel The Rolling Stones to fame, and has been a stalwart in the band since they first broke through in 1963.

    Charlie was born in London on June 2, 1941.

    He is survived by his wife Shirley – who he married in 1964 – and their one child, Seraphina.

    The couple lived in Devon and ran a stud farm.

  • Milica Cosic

    WATTS WAS NAMED AS ONE OF THE GREATEST DRUMMERS OF ALL TIME

    Rolling Stone magazine, named after the same song by Muddy Waters which reportedly inspired the band’s name, called Charlie Watts the 12th best drummer in history – two places ahead of The Beatles’ Ringo Starr.

    The magazine said Watts perfectly complemented the rest of the band with “swinging grooves, taut four-on-the-floor rhythms and understated impressionism”.

  • Milica Cosic

    ‘NOT JUST THE DRUMMER’

    Friends and colleagues say Charlie Watts was mostly a mild mannered guy – but not to be messed with.

    According to Keith Richards’ autobiography, frontman Mick Jagger provoked his ire during a tour stop in Amsterdam in 1984 by asking where “his drummer” was.

    Watts calmly got up, put on a suit and punched Jagger in the face – informing him he was not “his drummer” and Jagger was instead “his singer”, The Times reports.

  • Milica Cosic

    PAST HEALTH

    In 2004, Watts was treated for throat cancer but given the all-clear following a four-month battle, including radiotherapy sessions.

    He had been diagnosed after discovering a lump on the left side of his neck.

    Doctors performed a biopsy which led to his throat cancer diagnosis.

    Watts’ spokesman said at the time that the treatment had “not interfered with any tour or recording plans for the group, who have been ‘relaxing between work commitments”‘.

  • Milica Cosic

    SHOCK DEATH

    Charlie, regarded as one of rock’s greatest drummers, had the “successful procedure” in London after a problem was found during a routine check-up.

    Doctors deemed him unfit to join the rescheduled 13-date No Filter tour which starts next month, and prescribed him weeks of “rest and recuperation”.

    Charlie joked at the time: “For once, my timing has been a little off.”

    He added: “I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while.

    “After all the disappointment with delays to the tour caused by Covid, I really don’t want the many Stones fans in the States who have been holding tickets to have another postponement or cancellation.”

  • Milica Cosic

    CELEB TRIBUTES TO CHARLIE (CONTINUED…)

    Piers Morgan took to Twitter writing: "BREAKING NEWS: Rolling Stones superstar Charlie Watts, one of the greatest drummers in rock history, has died aged 80.

    "A brilliant musician and a wonderful character, he was the cool, calm, ever-pounding heartbeat of the Stones. Very sad news."

    Musician Ringo Starr posted: "#God bless Charlie Watts we’re going to miss you man peace and love to the family Ringo."

    Legend Elton John shared: "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."

  • Milica Cosic

    MICK JAGGER & KEITH RICHARDS POST TOUCHING PICS IN TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE WATTS AFTER ROLLING STONES DRUMMER’S DEATH AT 80

    A host of famous faces have paid their tributes to the music legend, who passed away just weeks after pulling out of the band's US tour.

    Mick, 78, was the first member from the band to comment.

    He took to Instagram and shared a smiling shot of Charlie sitting in his familiar spot, behind a drum kit.

    The poignant post needed no caption and fans flocked to share their condolences.

    Keith, 77, also shared a poetic post on Twitter on Tuesday evening, an empty drum set with a "closed" sign hanging from it.

  • Milica Cosic

    HOW DID CHARLIE MAKE HIS MONEY? (CONTINUED…)

    Stud farm

    As metioned earlier, Charlie and his wife also ran a very successful stud farm.

    This helped boost his incredible bank balance.

    The couple ran the business from their country estate in Devon.

    Charlie shot to fame in the Rolling Stones in the 60s
  • Milica Cosic

    HOW DID CHARLIE MAKE HIS MONEY?

    Touring

    Charlie and the rest of the Rolling Stones have made their money over the years through touring.

    Since the 60s they have performed more than 2,000 sell-out gigs around the world.

    Their Voodoo Lounge tour in 1994-5 broke records when it grossed more than £233 million.

    The band's A Bigger Bang Tour in 2006-07 broke more records when it raked in over £406 million.

    The Rolling Stones' No Filter tour, which began in 2017, grossed more than £304 million.

    Charlie also owned a percentage of The Rolling Stones' various corporate entities.

  • Milica Cosic

    WHAT WAS CHARLIE WATTS' NET WORTH?

    Charlie is regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time and had a bank balance to prove it.

    The musician managed to accumulate a vast amount of wealth during his 60 years in the Rolling Stones.

    Charlie had a net worth of a whopping £200M.

  • Milica Cosic

    EXPLAINED: WHERE DID CHARLIE WATTS LIVE?

    Born in London in 1941, Charlie Watts rose to fame when he joined the Rolling Stones in 1963 as the band's drummer.

    He survived by his wife Shirley – who he married in 1964 – and their one child, Seraphina.

    The couple lived in the rural Devonshire village of Dolton where they ran an Arabian stud farm.

    Charlie also owned a mansion in Islington where he would also stay when he was in the captial.

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