Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, known as one of the most popular men in rock, died on Tuesday. His departure comes just three weeks after he withdrew from a music tour in the U.S. citing health reasons. Watts took his last breath at the age of 80.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital today surrounded by his family,” a spokesman for Watts said.
Among the first few British bands to break into the American market with 1960s London icons, the Rolling Stones scored a string of hit records. Watts, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Keith Richards and Brian Jones also broke records with a world tour that earned millions of pounds.
Charlie Watts himself has played drums throughout the group’s albums and on every tour. An official statement was not released about the cause of Watts’ death. However, the announcement is in line with an August 4 statement by the band’ wahwa drummer withdrew from the US No Filter tour. The statement said the tour would be rescheduled because Watts needed time to recover.
Previously, bandmates expected Watts to rejoin soon.
“We look forward to welcoming Charlie back as soon as he has made a full recovery,” Jagger tweeted on August 4.
Disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the No Filter tour is scheduled to begin september 26 in St. Louis. There is no word yet on whether the tour will continue or be postponed.
“Charlie Watts is the ultimate drummer. The most stylish man, and a truly brilliant colleague,” Elton John tweeted.
McCartney also sent a message of condolence in a video.
“I knew he was sick but I didn’t know he was sick like this. It’s a big blow for them because Charlie is a fantastic rock and drummer.”
Watts was born during the Second World War, in 1941, growing up in the Webley area. Before starting working as a graphic artist at an advertising agency he used to attend Harrow Art school.
Reuters said Watts was also known as a person who was very concerned about appearance. Even The Daily Telegraph once named himself as one of the Best Men in the World. In 2006, Vanity Fair also included her in the International Best Dressed list.