Charlie Watts, the legendary drummer for the Rolling Stones, has passed away at the age of 80.
The musician died in London on Tuesday morning, according to his spokesperson. No cause of death was cited.
A statement from the band and Watts’ spokesperson was released upon news of his passing, which 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,” the statement continues. “We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”
Earlier this month, on August 4, Watts abruptly withdrew from the Stones’ upcoming pandemic-postponed U.S. tour, citing the need to recover from an unspecified but “successful” recent medical procedure.
At the time, a spokesperson said, “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. 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.”
This news is tough for fans to process as Watts had generally been healthy throughout his entire, decades-long career with the Rolling Stones. Charlie was stricken with throat cancer in 2004 but successfully recovered, which followed a struggle with substance abuse in the 1980s, which he beat, as well.
Charlie Watts is universally recognized as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time, with him and guitarist Keith Richards being at the core of the Rolling Stones’ instrumental sound for decades.
The rock icon’s last concert with the group took place in Miami on August 30, 2019. He also appeared with the band during the April 2020 “One World Together” all-star livestream at the beginning of the pandemic.
Watts was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Rolling Stones in 1989.
Rest In Peace, Charlie Watts.