Photos: Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts remembered as one of ‘greatest drummers of his generation’.

The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, London, in 1969: Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards.
The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, London, on June 13, 1969: Charlie Watts, left, Mick Taylor, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
(Evening Standard / Getty Images)
Share

Charlie Watts, the drummer who anchored the Rolling Stones throughout their reign as the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band, died on Tuesday. He was 80.

His death was announced by a spokesperson for the group: 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.”

The cause of death was not disclosed. Watts had suffered from health problems in recent years, including a diagnosis of throat cancer in 2004.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Earlier this month, Watts announced that he was unable to participate in the forthcoming leg of the Stones’ No Filter tour due to his health. He had not missed a Rolling Stones concert since joining the band in 1963.

Mick Jagger drives Charlie Watts, Ron Wood and Keith Richards in a convertible car.
Charlie Watts, left, Ron Wood, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones drive across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
(Kevin Mazur / WireImage)
A black-and-white portrait, circa 1968, of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.
Drummer Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones sits at his drums circa 1968.
(Michael Ochs Archives)
The Rolling Stones pose for a publicity photo in London circa 1965.
A publicity photo of the Rolling Stones, taken in London circa 1965: Mick Jagger, clockwise from left, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones and Keith Richards.
(Michael Ochs Archives)
The Rolling Stones rehearse onstage for an appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1969.
The Rolling Stones in rehearsal for their Nov. 19, 1969, appearance on the CBS variety program “The Ed Sullivan Show”: lead guitarist Mick Taylor, left, drummer Charlie Watts, singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards.
(CBS Photo )
A black-and-white photo of drummer Charlie Watts at his kit in 1975.
Drummer Charlie Watts contemplates his kit during the Rolling Stones’ 1975 tour of the Americas.
(Christopher Simon Sykes / Getty Images)
Advertisement

A black-and-white photo of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts in a striped suit.
Drummer Charlie Watts, always dapper, is seen in a striped suit during the Rolling Stones’ 1975 tour of the Americas.
(Christopher Simon Sykes / Getty Images)
Charlie Watts, holding a cigarette, and Mick Jagger, with a drink, during the Rolling Stones' tour of the Americas in 1975.
Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger take a break during the Rolling Stones’ tour of the Americas in 1975.
(Christopher Simon Sykes / Getty Images)
January 1965: Singer Mick Jagger and drummer Charlie Watts stand at a microphone.
January 1965: Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts do a soundcheck before a Rolling Stones concert.
(Keystone Features / Getty Images)
The Rolling Stones in 1964, wearing houndstooth suits, with three of them holding guitars.
The Rolling Stones in 1964: drummer Charlie Watts, front left and frontman Mick Jagger; guitarists Keith Richards, rear left, and Brian Jones and bassist Bill Wyman.
(Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
Best men Charlie Watts and Keith Richards flank just-married Ronnie Wood and Jo Howard in 1985.
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, second from left, celebrates at his Jan. 2, 1985, wedding to Jo Howard, flanked by best men Charlie Watts, left, and Keith Richards.
(Dave Hogan / Getty Images)
The Rolling Stones board a New York-bound plane at London Airport in 1964.
The Rolling Stones — Brian Jones, left, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman — board a New York-bound plane at London Airport on Oct. 23, 1964.
(Victor Boynton / Associated Press)
Mick Taylor, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts hold a press conference at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris in 1972.
Guitarist Mick Taylor, left, singer Mick Jagger and drummer Charlie Watts at a press conference at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris in 1972.
(Associated Press)
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts plays during the band's No Filter tour at NRG Stadium in 2019.
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts plays during the band’s No Filter tour at NRG Stadium on July 27, 2019, in Houston.
(Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP )
Mick Jagger, center, with his arms around the shoulders of Charlie Watts and Keith Richards.
Musicians Charlie Watts, left, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones attend a screening of their documentary “Stones in Exile” at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in May 2010.
(Evan Agostini / Associated Press)
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, right, performs behind singer Mick Jagger.
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, right, performs behind singer Mick Jagger during their concert at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 22, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif.
(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
Advertisement

Musicians Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform at MetLife Stadium.
Musicians Ronnie Wood, left, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 1, 2019
(Evan Agostini / Associated Press)
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, leads the rest of the band down airplane steps.
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger leads the rest of the band down an airplane’s steps, with Keith Richards, front center, Ronnie Wood, right, and drummer Charlie Watts, as the rock group arrive at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, on June 2, 2014.
(Associated Press)

More visual journalism from the photography staff of the Los Angeles Times