Watts’ publicist confirmed the news in a statement last night (August 24), writing that the “beloved” drummer had “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.”
- READ MORE: Charlie Watts, 1941 – 2021: the ballast that kept The Rolling Stones tempered and on-track
A cause of death has not yet been made public.
Taking to his official Instagram account last night, guitarist Townshend joined many fellow musicians in paying his respects to the late Stones member. He posted an image of a rainbow, which he said was “always a sign”.
“Charlie Watts wept at Keith Moon’s funeral. I wish I was capable of such tears today,” the message continued.
“Instead I just want to say goodbye. Not a rock drummer, a jazz drummer really, and that’s why the Stones swung like the Basie band!! Such a lovely man.”
Townshend added: “God bless his wife and daughter, and I’ll bet the horses will miss him too.” You can see the post below.
Watts’ Rolling Stones bandmates Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood have each shared tributes to the legendary drummer on their respective social media pages. The latter wrote that he would “dearly miss” the musician, adding: “You are the best.”
It was recently announced that Charlie Watts would be sitting out The Rolling Stones’ 2021 tour dates, with longtime Richards collaborator Steve Jordan due to fill in. A recent medical procedure was cited as the reason for Watts’ absence, although this was said to have been “completely successful”.
Having joined the Stones in 1963, Watts featured on all of the band’s studio albums to date alongside Richards and Jagger. He previously worked as a graphic designer in an advertising agency.