R.I.P.: Charlie Watts, Drummer for The Rolling Stones
Charlie Watts, best known as the drummer for The Rolling Stones, has died.
Watts first joined the band in January 1963, and provided the backbeat for The Rolling Stones from their earliest LPs through their historic albums, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St. and beyond.
“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,” reads an official statement. “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.”
Watts was 80 years old upon his passing. His health was put into question earlier this month, when he revealed that he was “unlikely to be available” for the Stones’ impending tour dates.
“Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but I gather his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation,” a band spokesperson told the press in early August. “With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming.”
Watts was born in Bloomsbury, London, England on June 2, 1941 and quickly fell in love with jazz. He got his first drumkit in 1955, and by 1962 he met Brian Jones, Ian “Stu” Stewart, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards. Soon, The Rolling Stones were born.
The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
“I play the same way, really, no matter who I’m with,” Watts told Relix in 2012. “It’s really all in the touch that changes when you go from rock and roll to blues or jazz or whatever else you might be doing. It’s in the feel. My thing is to make it a dance sound. It should swing and bounce. I learned to play by copying other people. It’s one of the faults in my playing. I should have gone to class and learned how to do it. I never did.”
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