Mick Jagger posts picture of Charlie Watts as tributes pour in for 'ultimate drummer'

Rolling Stones musician died peacefully in a London hospital on Tuesday surrounded by family

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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who died on Tuesday aged 80, was the "ultimate drummer" and the "most stylish of men", celebrity friends have said as tributes pour in.

Watts, who had been with the famous band since 1963, died at a London hospital from an unspecified illness. Announcing his death, publicist Bernard Doherty said he was "one of the greatest drummers of his generation".

Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather," he said. "He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family."

The Rolling Stones posted a photo of Watts along with the statement on their social media accounts.

Watts's bandmate Mick Jagger posted a photo of a smiling Watts at the drums, on his social media accounts.

News of the musician's death drew swift reactions from stars around the world.

"A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones," Elton John posted on Instagram, along with a photo of himself with Watts.

Another great musician, Paul McCartney posted a video on Twitter, calling Watts "a rock".

“He was a lovely guy … Condolences to the Stones. A huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock. A fantastic drummer, steady as a rock. Love you, Charlie, will always love you. Beautiful man, and great condolences and sympathy to his family," the Beatle said.

Fellow Beatle Ringo Starr also posted a tribute.

"We're going to miss you man," the drummer said on Twitter.

American rocker Joan Jett called him "one of a kind".

"Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed – no more – no less. He is one of a kind," she posted on Twitter.

Born in London in 1941, Watts started drumming in London's rhythm and blues clubs before joining the fledgling The Rolling Stones.

Earlier in August, it was announced that he was to miss the band’s coming US tour after suffering from an unspecified health issue.

“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 at the time.

Other musicians and bands have paid tributes to Watts on social media. Here are some of them:

“The beat of The Stones. There are no words, every groove has spoken for itself.” – Lenny Kravitz, musician.

“Drummers are the most ensnared individuals. Though they are loudest, they are the last to be heard. They have insecurities due to the fact that everyone has their back turned on them. Herein lies the band’s secret; there is no greatness- without a great drummer. – Perry Farrell, frontman of Jane's Addiction.

“The heartbeat of Rock & Roll. The Great Charlie Watts. all due respect.” – Questlove, drummer and frontman of The Roots.

“This is Charlie Watts. Mourned and beloved by all.” – Patti Smith, singer, songwriter.

“Charlie Watts wept at Keith Moon’s funeral. I wish I was capable of such tears today. Instead I just want to say goodbye. Not a rock drummer, a jazz drummer really, and that’s why the Stones swung like the Basie band!! Such a lovely man.” – Pete Townshend, co-founder of The Who.

“I feel terrible for Charlie’s family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records. Love & Mercy.” – Brian Wilson, founder of The Beach Boys.

“A monumentally sad day learning my personal hero Charlie Watts has died. I’m devastated and my soul aches for Shirley, Seraphina, the extended Watts family, and of course his band mates.” – Max Weinberg, drummer of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

“A hero is gone. No words. A huge gaping hole in the universe.” – Sheryl Crow, singer, songwriter.

“The most subtlety, warmth and feel of any rock drummer in history. Rest beautifully Charlie we treasure your gifts.” – Flea, bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“Rest In Power #CharlieWatts RIP. You are a smooth brother. Thanks for all the great music.” – Nile Rodgers, co-founder of Chic.

"For those of us that love music, we’ve lost one of the true pioneers of rock'n'roll. A consummate performer and an even better human. There’s so much to say about Charlie, but for now we will listen to the gift he gave us all - his music." – Nickelback.

"Devastating news, those in the know, know he was the heart & soul of the band." – Def Leppard.

"So saddened to hear about the passing of Charlie Watts. An absolute inspiration to a legion of drummers since the 1960s. A man of grace, style, dignity and composure." – Duran Duran

Updated: August 25, 2021, 9:19 AM