Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies at age 80

Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones, died at age 80. The information was confirmed by Bernard Doherty, the musician’s agent, in a statement to the British press this Tuesday (24/8).

“It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a hospital in London, this Tuesday morning, 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. We kindly ask that the privacy of family, band members and close friends be respected at this difficult time,” the statement said.

Watts recently underwent emergency surgery for “an unspecified medical problem.” the musician in August.


“For the first time, my pace has been a little awkward. I’ve been working hard to be completely fine, but today I must accept the experts’ advice that this takes a little longer”, he lamented at the time.

In order not to delay the tour, which until then is scheduled to take place in Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, he called on Steve Jordan to replace him. “After all the heartache caused by Covid, I really don’t want to disappoint Stones fans who are already getting their tickets with yet another postponement or cancellation announcement. So I asked my good friend Steve Jordan to replace me.”


Before joining the iconic rock band, Charlie was the drummer for Blues Incorporated, the first British blues band made up exclusively of white musicians. It was playing with her that caught the attention of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones, unconditional fans of the genre. He joined The Rolling Stones as a drummer in 1963, a position he held until a few days before he passed away.

With that, he was the only drummer in the band’s history and one of the only three members who have been since the band’s birth, in all its formations.

The Rolling Stones
Beginning of the band with Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, Keith Richards and Bill Wyman

In addition to the success in British banking, Watts released several solo albums. The last was Watts at Scott’s in 2004. That year, by the way, the Brit was diagnosed with throat cancer. He underwent treatment and recovered well, returning to active duty months later.

He was in Brazil on several occasions. The most striking was in 2006, when he played to a crowd on Copacabana beach, in a show broadcast by Globo.

In 2021, the drummer announced that he would be replaced part of the Rolling Stones tour to recover from unspecified surgery. At the time, he said that he intended to return to the stage soon.

Though discreet, Watts is described in the group’s biographies as a person with a strong personality. Once, Jagger would have called drunk to his colleague, demanding his presence: “Where’s my drummer?” Minutes later, Charlie showed up at Jagger’s apartment and punched him, ordering the band leader never to call him “his drummer” again. “You who are my vocalist, you bost…!” he said.