Charlie Watts dead: The Rolling Stones drummer dies age 80

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Charlie Watts dead: The Rolling Stones drummer dies age 80
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The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died at the age of 80 on Tuesday.

His London publicist Bernard Doherty confirmed the sad news in a statement.

Tributes have been flooding social media for the late star.

It comes just weeks after the rocker pulled out of the band’s US tour No Filter.

Mr Watts died in a London hospital surrounded by his family.

The statement read: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier on Tuesday surrounded by his family.

Best known as the drummer for The Rolling Stones (PA)
Best known as the drummer for The Rolling Stones (PA)

“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.’’

Weeks ago Mr Watts dropped out of the band’s tour as he needed time to recover following a successful operation.

The Rolling Stones, from left to right; Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richard (PA)
The Rolling Stones, from left to right; Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richard (PA)

His bandmates Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood shared messages of support after the star had an operation.

At the time, Mr Watts had said: “For once my timing has been a little off. 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.”

Piers Morgan wrote: “A brilliant musician and a wonderful character, he was the cool, calm, ever-pounding heartbeat of the Stones. Very sad news.”

The drummer of The Rolling Stones pictured with his wife Shirley (AFP via Getty Images)
The drummer of The Rolling Stones pictured with his wife Shirley (AFP via Getty Images)

Nile Rodgers added: “Rest In Power #CharlieWatts RIP. You are a smooth brother. Thanks for all the great music.”

Sir Elton John wrote on Twitter: “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.”

In 2004, Mr Watts was treated for throat cancer at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital after he discovered a lump on the side of his neck.

The musician was given the all-clear after a four-month battle with the disease which included six weeks of intensive radiotherapy treatment.

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

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