Charlie Watts, the famed Rolling Stones drummer, has died at the age of 80 years old.
The British musician's publicist, Bernard Doherty, confirmed the tragic news on Tuesday, August 24, saying in a statement: "It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts."
Noting that he "passed away peacefully," Doherty revealed Watts died "earlier today surrounded by his family" while in a London hospital. "Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation," the publicist gushed, before asking the public to allow those closest to him to mourn in private.
"We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time," Doherty concluded.
Weeks before the music legend passed away, he had a "successful procedure" in London after doctors found a problem during a routine check-up, The Sun reported. Doctors advised him not to take part in the band's "No Filter" tour — which starts next month — and ordered him to take weeks of "rest and recuperation."
Taking the doctors' orders, Watts pulled out of the band's US tour, joking that “for once, my timing has been a little off.”
"I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while," he said in a statement.
“After all the fans’ suffering caused by Covid, I really do not want the many RS fans who have been holding tickets for this tour to be disappointed by another postponement or cancellation," Watts continued. "I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me.”
The band was hoping to have their drummer, who had been a member of the Rolling Stones since 1963, back for the their 60th anniversary celebrations next year. Watts was one of the longest-standing members of the band alongside frontman Sir Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richard.
While the reason for his recent surgery remains unknown at this time, Watts was treated for throat cancer in 2004. Luckily, he reportedly received the all-clear after a four-month battle.
The late musician is survived by wife Shirley Ann Shepherd — who he had been married to for 57 years — daughter Seraphina and granddaughter Charlotte.