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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died aged 80.
The legendary musician – who was one of the original members of the ‘Paint it Black’ hitmakers – passed away on Tuesday (24.08.21) at the age of 80, his publicist Bernard Doherty has confirmed.
In a statement, Bernard said: "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."
As of the time of writing, a cause of death has not been confirmed, but his passing comes just weeks after he had a “successful” emergency heart operation after a problem was found during a routine check-up.
Doctors had deemed him unfit to join the rescheduled ‘No Filter’ tour which was due to start next month, and had prescribed him weeks of "rest and recuperation".
The drummer was expected to be back with the band for their 60th anniversary celebrations next year, when they will release their first album of original songs in 17 years.
Charlie was widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world, and he is the only member of the Rolling Stones other than Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to have featured on all of the band’s studio albums.
He joined the ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ rockers in 1963 and was part of the band’s first stable line-up, which also included Mick, Keith, Bill Wyman, and Brian Jones.
The iconic musician cited jazz as a major influence in his drumming style, and he was elected into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2006, the same year he was also inducted into Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 as a member of the Rolling Stones.