Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones, dies at 80

”It is with enormous unhappiness that we reveal the death of our cherished Charlie Watts. He died in harmony in a London health center earlier today surrounded by his household,” his spokesperson said Tuesday in an emailed statement to CNN.

“Charlie was a valued spouse, daddy and grandpa and likewise as a member of The Rolling Stones among the best drummers of his generation. We kindly ask for that the personal privacy of his household, band members and friends is appreciated at this hard time.”

The band had actually revealed previously this month that Watts would miss out on the band’s upcoming North American leg of its “No Filter” trip after going through a medical treatment for an unidentified condition.

Watts entered into the Stones’ long time foursome along with vocalist Mick Jagger, guitar player Keith Richards and bassist Ronnie Wood, anchoring the band’s blues-rock noise from his drum package for more than 50 years.

His puppy love was jazz

Constantly an unwilling rock-and-roll star — his real love was jazz — Watts was born in 1941, when Hitler’s bombs were still tipping over London. He matured in the west London suburban area of Wembley.

From a young age, Watts was enthusiastic about drumming. He would “rap out tunes on the table with pieces of wood or a knife and fork” prior to his moms and dads purchased him a drum package when he was 14, his mom stated. He went on to study graphic style at the Harrow School of Art.

His very first job remained in marketing and, in his extra time, Watts composed and released a kids’s book about jazz legend Charlie Parker called “Ode to a High Flying Bird.” The beginning read: “This story was compiled by one Charlie to a late and great Charlie.”

At the very same time, Watts played in a band with Alexis Korner, the starting daddy of the British blues scene, in Ealing, west London, where the late Stones member Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton were likewise guest artists.

Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones during a rehearsal in New York, May 1978.

In 1962, Jones formed the Rolling Stones with vocalist Jagger, pianist Ian Stewart and guitar players Keith Richards and Penis Taylor. Watts denied the group’s very first deal for him to sign up with, lastly yielding and playing his very first gig with them in January 1963.

In 1964, the Stones reached No. 1 on the British pop charts with their cover of Bobby Womack’s “It’s All Over Now.”

The Jagger-Richards songwriting group produced its very first authentic classic, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” in 1965. The band took pleasure in a string of hit songs well into 1966, consisting of “Paint It Black,” “19th Nervous Breakdown,” “Get off My Cloud,” “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby,” and “Lady Jane.”

The group preserved huge appeal for years with traditional albums like “Aftermath” (1966), “Sticky Fingers” (1971), “Some Girls” (1978) and “Tattoo You” (1981), and with enormous arena trips that took them all over the world.

He and his other half resided in rural southwest England

In the 1980s Watts lastly discovered time to pursue his enthusiasm for jazz and formed a 32-piece band called the Charlie Watts Orchestra. Their very first gig remained in the famous London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s, where Watts was a regular, if undercover, visitor. 

In the early 1990s, Watts launched a number of albums with another group, the Charlie Watts Quintet, consisting of a homage to Charlie Parker. 

He wed Shirley Ann Shepherd in 1964, and the couple had one child, Seraphina. They stayed married till Watts’ death.

Watts, a heavy cigarette smoker, was identified with throat cancer in 2004 however totally recuperated.

He invested the majority of his time on his estate in Devon in southwest England. His other half reproduced horses and owned a widely known stud farm.

In more current years, Watts formed a traditional blues band called the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie, choosing to play in intimate clubs. He however continued to play with the Stones, most just recently on the European leg of the band’s “No Filter” trip in 2018.

Watts is made it through by 3 of his long time Stones bandmates: Jagger, Richards and Wood.

Musicians Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John and more shared their memories of Watts on social networks and revealed acknowledgements to his household and bandmates.
“Charlie was a rock and a fantastic drummer. Steady as a rock.” McCartney stated in a video.
“A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer,” John composed in a tweet. “The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones.”

Drummer Steve Jordan, a previous member of your house bands for “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with David Letterman,” is set up to take Watts’ location for the Stones’ approaching trip, which is set up to begin on September 26 in St. Louis.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.