Mick Jagger just honored his late bandmate Charlie Watts with a truly iconic photo of the drummer. A rep for Watts confirmed the death of the 80-year old music legend to Variety earlier today. Watts’s passing comes on the heels of his withdrawal from the 2021 Rolling Stones Tour in August due to health concerns. His cause of death currently remains unknown.
While no cause of death is known, his rep did say that he “died peacefully in a London hospital.”
Mick Jagger took to Twitter to post a photo of his late bandmate smiling wide while playing the drums. It’s an unbelievably devastating day for those close to him.
He played with Mick Jagger and the rest of the band for almost 50 years. Watts, who had a background in jazz, added a unique sound that was instrumental to the success of The Rolling Stones. While Mick Jagger understandably doesn’t have the words today, he’s constantly sung praises for the drummer.
In a 2003 oral history According to The Rolling Stones, he talked about the importance of Watts to the band.
“To have a drummer from the beginning who could play with the sensibility of Charlie Watts is one of the best-hidden assets I’ve had because I never had to think about the drummer and what he’s going to do. I just say, ‘Charlie, it goes like this,’ and we’ll kick it around a bit and it’s done. I can throw him ideas and I never have to worry about the beat…It’s a blessing.”
Watts was born in 1941 to a truck driver and stay-at-home mother. He found a passion for music in his childhood and quickly rose to stardom with The Rolling Stones.
Charlie Watts’s Death Met with an Outpouring of Tributes
There’s been a massive amount of tributes to the late drummer following the news of his death. Paul McCartney, Elton John, and other legendary figures have all taken a moment to remember Watts.
McCartney posted a teary video on Twitter about the music legend.
“Charlie Watts… Was a lovely guy,” he said of the Rolling Stones Drummer. “Charlie was a rock. A fantastic drummer. Steady as a rock.”
Elton John also wrote about Watts, describing him as an incredible drummer.
“A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina, and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones,” he wrote in a Tweet.
Another rock legend, Joan Jett, also spoke up about the loss on Twitter.
“Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed – no more – no less. He is one of a kind,” she wrote.
Watts is survived by his wife, Shirley, and their daughter, Serafina.