Charlie Watts, Drummer for The Rolling Stones, Has Died | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Rolling Stones in the Tattoo You Era (Charlie Watts on Far Left)

Charlie Watts, Drummer for The Rolling Stones, Has Died

He Played on Every Single One of Their Studio Albums

Aug 24, 2021 Photography by Helmut Newton (Courtesy of UMe)
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Charlie Watts, iconic drummer for The Rolling Stones, has died at age 80. The news has been reported by various major news outlets, including CNN. No cause of death has been given as of yet, but Watts recently dropped out of the band’s upcoming North American tour due to his recovery from a medical operation.

The following statement from Watts’ publicist has been circulating: “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. We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”

The Rolling Stones formed in 1962 and Watts joined the band the following year, in 1963, making him practically a founding member. Along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, he is one of three members of the band to perform on every one of their many studio albums. Watts was trained as a graphic artist and even designed some of the band’s record sleeves and tour stages. Outside of The Rolling Stones, he also led the jazz group Charlie Watts Quintet. Watts is survived by his wife Shirley (who he’s been married to since 1964), his daughter Seraphina, granddaughter Charlotte, and step-grandson Dylan.

The Rolling Stones recently announced a 40th Anniversary reissue of their 1981 album, Tattoo You, which is due October 22 via Polydor/Interscope/UMe. It features nine previously unreleased tracks, including “Living in the Heart of Love.” It follows a 2020 reissue of their 1973 album Goats Head Soup, which featured the unreleased song “Scarlet” (which was also remixed by The War on the Drugs).

Below is a selection of some of Watts’ work with The Rolling Stones and elsewhere.

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