Rock and roll legend Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies at 80

Charlie Watts first played with the Jo Jones Seven on the North London pub circuit (Photo: Rolling Stone)

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who helped them become one of the greatest bands in rock ‘n’ roll, has died at the age of 80.

“It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” a statement said.

“He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.”

It said he was “a cherished husband, father and grandfather” and “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”.

The statement added: “We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”

The news comes weeks after it was announced that Watts would miss the band’s US tour dates to recover from an unspecified medical procedure. Watts was previously treated for throat cancer in 2004.

He had been a member of the Stones since January 1963, when he joined Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones in their fledgling group.

A jazz aficionado at heart, Watts helped them become, with The Beatles, one of the bands who took rock ‘n’ roll to the masses in the 60s with classics like (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Get Off My Cloud and Sympathy for the Devil.

Charlie Watts (Getty Images)

RIP Charlie Watts

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