Bill Wyman has shared an emotional tribute to his friend and former Rolling Stones bandmate, Charlie Watts, after it was announced the drummer passed away on Tuesday (August 24) aged 80.
Wyman was part of The Stones’ most iconic era of their career. He joined the band in 1962, before officially leaving back in 1993. However, he had actually quit the band after the mammoth 1989-1990 tours, ‘Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle’. Since his departure, Darryl Jones has recorded and toured with the band on bass.
It was Watts’ British publicist, Bernard Doherty, who confirmed the news of his death in a statement circulated by the PA new agency on Tuesday evening (24 August). The statement was shared on all of the Rolling Stones’ social media platforms.
Taking to Instagram, Wyman shared a candid black and white photograph of the late drummer. The caption was short but sincere. It read: “Charlie, you were like a brother to me. In the band and in life. Rest in peace.”
Surviving Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, have all shared tributes on social media. Wood wrote: “I love you my fellow Gemini – I will dearly miss you – you are the best”.
Droves of iconic musicians have shared their sadness at the news, including former Beatle and Wings man, Paul McCartney. He posted a video on social media celebrating Watts as “a rock and a fantastic drummer – steady as a rock”.
The statement from his spokesperson read: “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.” It concluded that he was “a cherished husband, father and grandfather” and “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”.
Watts’ cause of death is yet unknown. He will be sorely missed for his fierce artistry, brilliant personality and unmistakable musicianship.
Listen to Charlie Watts discuss the Stones, below.