How did Charlie Watts die? Tributes pour in as Rolling Stones drummer passes away at 80

Rolling Stone drummer Charlie Watts passed away at 80 (Image via Getty Images)
Rolling Stone drummer Charlie Watts passed away at 80 (Image via Getty Images)

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has passed away at the age of 80. The official news of his demise was confirmed by London-based publicist, Bernard Doherty. The musician reportedly took his last breath in a London hospital.

He was in the company of his loved ones at the time of passing. The Rolling Stones also took to Instagram to share an official statement with fans:

"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 as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation".

Meanwhile, the Watts family requested admirers to respect their privacy through this difficult time:

"We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time."

News of the musician’s passing comes a few months after he pulled out of Rolling Stones’ 2021 No Filter tour due to an unexplained medical issue. According to The Sun, Charlie Watts died a few weeks after an emergency cardiac surgery.

A spokesperson for the drummer previously mentioned that he was required to “rest and recuperate” after a medical procedure. Charlie Watts reportedly issued a statement about working towards a complete recovery at the time:

"For once my timing has been a little off. 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."

The rocker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004. However, he successfully battled the disease after four months of intensive treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. As of now, no immediate cause of his death has been revealed.

Twitter pays tribute to legendary drummer Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts is best-known as a member of the English rock band Rolling Stones. He initially worked as a graphic artist and started playing drums at local clubs in London. He skyrocketed to fame after joining the band as a core drummer in 1963.

He was one of the only members to be featured in all of the band’s studio albums besides Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The stalwart also launched his own group called the Charlie Watts Quintet.


The London native was dubbed “rock’s greatest drummer” by renowned music critic Robert Christgau. Charlie Watts was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2006. He got the 12th rank in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Drummer” list in 2016.

The musician was widely known for his unique composed and refined style of drumming. He is often regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time.

Following the news of his demise, several social media users including notable music stars took to Twitter to pour in their heartfelt tributes to the legend:

As a plethora of tributes continue to pour in online, it is certain that Charlie Watts will remain alive in the pages of history through his music.

He will be deeply missed by family, friends and close associates. His legacy will always be cherished by contemporaries and future generations alike.

Also read: Who was Marilyn Eastman? "Night of the Living Dead" star passes away at 87

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