Brad Paisley Posts Touching Tribute to Late Rolling Stones Dummer Charlie Watts: ‘Was Rock and Roll’

by Jennifer Shea

Country star Brad Paisley remembers late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts fondly. And on Tuesday, Paisley took to Twitter to memorialize Watts and to share a picture of himself jamming with the band.

“Standing in the ‘soup’ of this rhythm section, experiencing firsthand the benchmark of rock and roll drumming, was… well, indescribable,” Paisley tweeted. “Charlie Watts was the heartbeat of the greatest rock band of all time, and therefore rock and roll.”

“And what a great guy,” he added. “I thank God I got to jam with this legend. Thank you for the beat Charlie. Rock on in the great hereafter.”

Charlie Watts Dead at Age 80

As Brad Paisley noted, Watts died earlier today. He was in a London hospital surrounded by his family at the time, his publicist said. The Rolling Stones drummer was 80.

His death follows news that Watts would be unable to play in the Stones’ No Filter Tour hitting U.S. stadiums this fall and winter, according to Rolling Stone.

“Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation,” a band representative said in a statement several weeks back. “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.”

The magazine dubbed Watts “the engine that powered the Stones’ music” and placed him in the pantheon of the most admired drummers of all time.

As for Watts, he told Rolling Stone that he wasn’t interested in being seen as the leader of the band, even though Keith Richards once said that “Charlie Watts is the Stones.” He happily lived a quiet life offstage, staying faithful to his wife since 1964, Shirley Shepherd, and keeping his struggles with drugs and alcohol private.

“I’m big on letting people do what they want, which doesn’t make for good bandleaders,” he said in 1991. “If I had led the Rolling Stones, they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. We’d still be running around trying to find an amp, 30 years later.”

Brad Paisley Has Been Back to Touring

Meanwhile, Paisley has been hitting the road to play some live music once again. After a pandemic-induced hiatus, Paisley began touring again this summer. His tour dates run through next spring.

At a show last month in Jacksonville that kicked off his tour, Paisley celebrated his return to the road by performing and interacting with fans.

“We’re back and it feels so good,” Paisley tweeted afterwards.

In a pre-show video from the venue, Paisley said it’s “a crazy feeling” to be playing live again, but he’s clearly grateful to be doing so. And with his tour dates stretching through next year, fans who want to see Paisley perform will have plenty of chances.