Charlie Watts, one of the most influential and celebrated drummers of the past six decades, passed away Tuesday night. According to the official statement released by The Rolling Stones, Watts “passed away peacefully.”
Watts, who recently pulled out of tour dates due to illness, was confirmed dead by his publicist Bernard Doherty in a recently released statement.
“It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” a publicist said. “He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.”
The statement continued: “We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”
Tributes have begun to pour in from some of the biggest names in music and entertainment. Ringo Starr, Watts’ contemporary in the London pop scene of the 1960s, kept it simple by saying: “God bless Charlie Watts we’re going to miss you man peace and love to the family.”
Paul McCartney shared a heartfelt tribute, calling Watts “a rock. A fantastic drummer. Steady as a rock. Love you Charlie. Always loved you. A beautiful man, and great condolences and sympathies to his family.”
Elton John calls Watts “the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company,” and calls the time of his passing “a very sad day.”
Dave Davies, the legendary lead guitarist for The Kinks, expressed his “total shock” and characterised Watts as “a lovely guy. He will be sorely missed.”
Robbie Robertson, guitarist and songwriter for The Band, wrote that Watt’s playing style was “powerful and unique. His approach is entirely his own and helped shape the round of rock and roll.”
Brian Wilson, leader of The Beach Boys, was at a loss. “I don’t know what to say, I feel terrible for Charlie’s family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records.”
Check out some of the tributes down below.