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The rock n' roll world has lost a beat. On Tuesday, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, an icon of the format and an architect of the genre, died at the age of 80. A spokesperson for the band confirmed the news via statement: "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." A cause of death was not revealed.
Social media feeds flooded immediately after with tributes from fans, sharing anecdotes and memories from Watts' near-sixty year tenure as a rock god.
In an era defined by ego and excess, the revered drummer led a life much more reserved than many of his peers. His stand-up demeanor became a hallmark trait to those who followed, along with a style of playing that infused elements of jazz into the The Rolling Stones signature groove. As the band prepped for fall tour dates, it was announced earlier this summer that Watts wouldn't be able to make the run, dealing with unspecified health issues back home.
Rock legends, like Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Joan Jett, as well as contemporary admirers like Sheryl Crow and Lenny Kravitz, expressed their grief in his passing.
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) August 24, 2021
The heartbeat of Rock & Roll. The Great Charlie Watts. 😔 all due respect. https://t.co/k7tBR7KKFb
— B.R.O.theR. ?uestion (@questlove) August 24, 2021
I’m just shocked to hear about Charlie Watts. I don’t know what to say, I feel terrible for Charlie’s family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records. Love & Mercy. pic.twitter.com/C4q2zXvVKo
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) August 24, 2021
Drummers are the most ensnared individuals. Though they are loudest, they are the last to be heard. They have insecurities due to the fact that everyone has their back turned on them. Herein lies the band’s secret; there is no greatness- without a great drummer. RIP Charlie Watts pic.twitter.com/sAcE7SYiBY
— Perry Farrell (@perryfarrell) August 24, 2021
— Dave Davies (@davedavieskinks) August 24, 2021
A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones.
@therollingstones #CharlieWatts #RIP pic.twitter.com/9rjSSgioZL
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) August 24, 2021
Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed - no more - no less. He is one of a kind. pic.twitter.com/aasPZ2fMYX
— Joan Jett (@joanjett) August 24, 2021
Rock n roll would not be rock n roll without the rhythm, the style, the VIBE of this incredible musician. Rest In Peace #CharlieWatts, one of the greatest and most important architects of the music we love. pic.twitter.com/xEfzaSLCba
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) August 24, 2021
A hero is gone. No words. A huge gaping hole in the universe.
RIP Charlie Watts. https://t.co/kLSaIF9JKn
— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) August 24, 2021
Charlie Watts - The
Rolling Stones drummer — who helped them become one of the greatest bands in history has died at the age of 80.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 24, 2021
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) August 24, 2021
There goes a hero. 🖤
Dear Charlie Watts. What a legend. Sad to see him go. pic.twitter.com/jYmEJlFnZ7
— Garbage (@garbage) August 24, 2021
Tom T. Hall, Don Everly, and Charlie Watts in less than a week. This is a kick to the gut.
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) August 24, 2021
— Liz Phair (@PhizLair) August 24, 2021
— John Fogerty (@John_Fogerty) August 24, 2021
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