Music Features

Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts Is Dead at 80

Charlie Watts last performed in metro Phoenix in August 2019 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
Charlie Watts last performed in metro Phoenix in August 2019 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Jim Louvau

Drummer Charlie Watts, a member of the Rolling Stones for 58 years, died this morning in London. He was 80 years old.

A statement from the band and Watts’ spokesperson reads: “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 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.”

No cause of death was given, but Watts announced earlier this month that he would not go on the Stones' upcoming tour in order to recover from a medical procedure.

Watts' final metro Phoenix concert appearance was nearly two years ago, on August 26, 2019, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale; in a review of that show, contributor Ashley Naftule wrote, "The musical MVP of the night, though, was Charlie Watts. There is no stopping him behind the kit: The man didn't miss a beat, displaying an unerring instinct when it comes to playing it light or putting some muscle in his hits."
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Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.