Rolling Stones drummer Charles Robert “Charlie” Watts has died at the age of 80, his publicist announced on Tuesday.
“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,” a statement read.
It said Charlie was a “cherished husband, father and grandfather” and “one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”
“We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time,” the press release added.
Watts, who turned 80 in June, was a member of the Stones since 1963. Earlier this month, he pulled out of the band’s upcoming US tour to recover from a medical procedure.
Alongside Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, Watts was one of the longest-standing members of the English rock band.
Born in 1941 in Bloomsbury, London, he started drumming at the age of 14.
Tributes poured in from stars, celebrating his life and career.
“A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company,” Sir John Elton tweeted. “My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte.
And of course, The Rolling Stones.”
Canadian singer Bryan Adams described Watts as “one of the greatest rock drummers ever and a real gentleman.”