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Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts Has Died
Christian Eede , August 24th, 2021 18:55

The group's legendary drummer was 80

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died, aged 80.

A statement from Watts' London publicist, Bernard Doherty, to the PA Media news agency said: "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."

Earlier this month, the Rolling Stones announced that Watts, who was part of the group for almost 60 years, would miss their forthcoming US tour, while he recovered from an unspecified medical procedure.

Following the announcement of Watts' death, Mick Jagger paid tribute to the drummer, tweeting a picture, without words, of his bandmate smiling while playing drums. Keith Richards also shared a picture of an empty drum kit.

Born in 1941, Watts was raised in Wembley, north-west London. He first got into music via a love of US jazz from the swing and bebop eras, and began mimicking the drums on jazz records when he got his first kit in his teens.

In 1962, he joined Blues Incorporated, a rhythm and blues band led by Alexis Korner, which also included the Cream bassist Jack Bruce among its ranks. Through Korner he met Brian Jones, who would play at Blues Incorporated gigs, with Jagger and Richards becoming fans and also eventually ending up playing with the group.

Jagger, Richards and Jones went on to form the Rolling Stones very soon after, with Watts joining the group as their drummer in 1963 and going on to play on every studio album that the band released from their 1964 self-titled debut up to 2008's Shine A Light. In between those, the band released classic albums such as Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street.

Speaking about his own unfussy approach to playing drums, Watts once said: "I don't like drum solos. I admire some people that do them, but generally I prefer drummers playing with the band. The challenge with rock'n'roll is the regularity of it. My thing is to make it a dance sound – it should swing and bounce."

Watts' final release with the Rolling Stones was last year's single 'Living In A Ghost Town', which was due to feature on a studio album that the band had in the works.