Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts had died at the age of 80, his agent has confirmed. The musician of one of the world’s greatest ever bands composed of Mick Jagger, Brian Jones (who died in 1969), Keith Richards and Bill Wyman, died in London surrounded by his loved ones.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” his agent said in a statement, adding that “he passed away peacefully in a London hospital today, surrounded by his family.”
Watts (London, 1941) suffered from health problems since he was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004. At the beginning of summer, he suffered a relapse, announcing that would not take part in the next tour by the British group scheduled for the autumn. A spokesman explained the reasons at the time: “Charlie was operated on successfully, but his doctors believe that he needs to rest,” he explained.
The drummer, who turned 80 in June, had been with the Stones since 1963. Along with singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, Charlie Watts was one of the oldest members of the famous rock band, in which he also played alongside Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Bill Wyman.
In 2004, Watts was treated at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital for throat cancer, from which he recovered after a four-month battle with the disease, which included six weeks of intensive radiation.
In 2016, Watts was ranked 12th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest drummers of all time.
“Charlie was a loving husband, father and grandfather and also, as a member of the Rolling Stones, one of the greatest drummers of his generation,” said his publicist. “We ask that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends be respected at this difficult time,” he added.
He is survived by his wife Shirley, daughter Seraphina and granddaughter Charlotte.