MUSIC NEWS

Charlie Watts, drummer for The Rolling Stones dies at 80

The Rolling Stones’ own rock star drummer, Charlie Watts, has passed away at 80 years of age.

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Charlie Watts, drummer for The Rolling Stones dies at 80
ANDREW COWIE AFP

The world of music and rock fans, in particular, are mourning the loss of The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. The British rock star died at 80, according to his business manager, Bernard Doherty.

The news comes as a shock to many fans of the musical phenomenon that is The Rolling Stones. The band also put out a statement on social media shortly after his death became public which read,

“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully at 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 that the privacy of his family, and band members and close friends at this difficult time.”

Watts married his wife, Shirley Ann Shepherd in 1964 before the band rise to stardom. The couple had one daughter, and Watts became a step-father to Shepard’s son. Known as a good dresser in the public eye, Watts had a “love-hate relationship with touring.” Opting for a much more private life, Watts broke from many of the stereotypes for rockstars at the time.

Recent health issues

Earlier this year, the legendary member of the Stones had announced that he would not join the band on a tour in the United States because he needed time to recover from an operation he had recently undergone.

During a routine check-up, doctors had observed: "a problem" that led to Watt’s surgery. The surgery was successful, but after Watts announced that he would retire temporarily from music. His spokesmen said that the time that “Charlie has had a procedure this week which was completely successful, but I gather his doctors concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation.”

In 2004, the drummer was treated for throat cancer from which he recovered.

Upcoming tour

After Watts had decided to sit the US tour, which will begin in St. Louis in late September, the band tapped Steve Jordan. Jordan is a life-long friend of Watts, who stated publicly that he has asked him to play in his place.