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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies aged 80

His publicist confirmed the news

Matthew Moore

The Rolling Stones' drummer Charlie Watts has died aged 80. His publicist, Bernard Doherty, confirmed the sad news to the Associated Press.

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Charlie passed away on Tuesday in hospital, where he was surrounded by his family.

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Paying tribute to the star, Bernard said: "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.

"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.

"We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time."

Charlie had been a member of Rolling Stones since January 1963.

The news came less than a month after the 80-year-old underwent emergency surgery and was forced to pull out of the band's US tour.

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Charlie was 80 years old

Charlie's spokesman reassured fans that his procedure had been "completely successful" but that he had been told that he needed "proper rest and recuperation".

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The star said: "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.

"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."

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Many have paid tribute to the star

Tributes poured in for the star, with rock band Garbage writing: "So sad to hear Charlie Watts is gone. I learned how to play drums rocking out to Stones albums. RIP Charlie!"

Elton John said: "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."

Another fan penned: "Eternal thanks to Charlie Watts for a lifetime of great music and humble, efficient, propulsive grooves. One of my favourite drummers. Man did everything with style."

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