Legendary Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has passed away at the age of 80, as confirmed by a spokesperson.

Weeks after announcing that he would not be joining the Rolling Stones on their ‘No Filter Tour’ across America, legendary drummer Charlie Watts has died at the age of 80.

A spokesperson for the drummer confirmed the news in a 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 [Tuesday] surrounded by his family.”

Watts was referred to in the statement as “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”. His publicist also requested that the privacy of his band members, friends, and family be respected.

News of Watts’ departure comes only weeks after he pulled out of band’s ‘No Filter Tour’ citing health issues. 

“Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation. With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks, it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming.” the band’s collective statement said at the time.

Love Classic Rock?

Get the latest Classic Rock news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

Tributes to Watts — who had been a crucial part of the band since 1963 and was often referred to as their ‘heartbeat’ — have poured in from the music community and fans alike.

“A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer,” wrote Sir Elton John on Twitter. “The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones.”

Ringo Starr also paid his tribute to Watts, as did Bryan Adams.

https://twitter.com/ringostarrmusic/status/1430214308101705730

Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot also weighed in: “Those in the know know he was the heart & soul of the band …. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting him a few times, a total gentleman…”

Official statements from the band members are awaited.

For more on this topic, follow the Classic Rock Observer.

Read The Rolling Stones’ full statement here: