Drummer Charlie Watts dies at age 80

Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones Drummer, Dies at 80

Charlie Watts, The Rolling Stones’ only drummer for nearly 6 decades, died Tuesday in London.

Charlie was in London’s Royal Marsden Hospital when he passed away, and we’re told Shirley — his wife of nearly 57 years — was by his side. The Stones announced earlier this month that Charlie, their eldest band member, would not be able to play during their upcoming tour because he needed time to recover from a procedure.

Related: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards heartbreaking statements days before Charlie Watts death

A statement from Watts’ spokesperson reads: “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 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.”

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, and Wyman, as the bassist liked to say, “fattening the sound.” 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.

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