The world of music is in mourning. The legendary drummer of the Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts, died this Tuesday, August 24 at the age of 80 in a London hospital. The musician was a member of the legendary rock group since 1963.
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 best drummers of his generation. We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time, “said his publicist, Bernard Doherty, said in a statement.
The quiet and graceful Watts used to be rated, along with Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, and a few other artists, as one of the greatest rock drummers. He was respected worldwide for his powerful and jovial style, as the band evolved from its scruffy origins to becoming an international luminaire. He joined the Stones in early 1963 and stayed with the band for 60 years. He was, after Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the oldest and most essential member of the group.
The Stones started out, according to Watts, “as white guys from England playing black American music,” but they quickly evolved into their own distinctive sound. Watts was a jazz drummer in his early years and never lost his love for the genre, leading his own jazz band and doing numerous side projects.
Classic Stones songs like “Brown Sugar” and “Start Me Up” used to begin with a hard guitar chord from Richards, Watts following closely and Wyman, as the bassist used to say, “crushing the sound.” Watts’s speed and power, as well as his beat, were on display in the concert documentary “Shine a Light” when director Martin Scorsese filmed “Jumpin ‘Jack Flash” from where he was playing in the background.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards posted photos on social media this Wednesday (08.25.2021) to remember their partner Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 80.
On Twitter and Instagram, Jagger shared a picture of a smiling Watts behind the drums, while Richards a photo of a drummer holding a “closed” sign.