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24th Aug 2021

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies aged 80

Steve Hopkins

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died aged 80.

Watts’ London publicist Bernard Doherty confirmed the news on Tuesday evening and his band later paid tribute to him as “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”.

The Rolling Stones issued a statement on Twitter at 5.45pm, writing: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” adding that he died in 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 music legend passed away weeks after pulling out of the band’s US tour following a heart operation discovered during a routine check-up.

Doctors deemed him unfit to join the rescheduled 13-date No Filter tour which starts next month.

According to The Sun, Watts joked at the time: “For once, my timing has been a little off.”

He added: “I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while.

“After all the disappointment with delays to the tour caused by Covid, I really don’t want the many Stones fans in the States who have been holding tickets to have another postponement or cancellation.”

The Stones aimed to have him back fighting fit for the band’s big 60th anniversary celebrations in 2022, when they will release their first album of ­original songs in 17 years.

Sheryl Crow was among a host of stars to pay tribute to Watts.