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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies

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Tributes have poured in following the death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. He was 80.

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A statement by Watts’ spokesman overnight announced the legendary drummer’s death.

“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.

The news comes just weeks after it was announced that the drummer, who celebrated his 80th birthday in June and who had been part of the Stones since 1963, was to miss the band’s forthcoming US tour.

After the news broke on Tuesday, Sir Elton posted a picture of the pair and said in a Twitter post: “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.”

His Beatles counterpart Sir Ringo also tweeted a picture, writing: “God bless Charlie Watts, we’re going to miss you man, peace and love to the family, Ringo.”

Queen drummer Roger Taylor said on Instagram: “How sad, we’ve lost a true gentleman. The immaculate beating heart of the Rolling Stones.”

Musician Sir Paul McCartney paid tribute to Watts with a video on Twitter, in which he said: “So sad to hear about Charlie Watts, Stones drummer, dying. He was a lovely guy.

“I knew he was ill, but I didn’t know he was this ill, so lots of love to his family, his wife and kids and his extended family, and condolences to the Stones, it’ll be a huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock, and a fantastic drummer, steady as a rock.

“Love you Charlie, I’ve always loved you, beautiful man, and great condolences and sympathies to his family.”

Musician Rick Astley described Watts as a “true original icon” in a tribute on Twitter, while Duran Duran said of him: “An absolute inspiration to a legion of drummers since the 1960’s. A man of grace, style, dignity and composure.”

Stewart Copeland, who played drums in rock band The Police, wrote on Twitter: “So sad to lose a unique, iconic drummer. (and dancer) He was a quiet giant.”

Singer Sheryl Crow said there was a “gaping hole in the universe” following his death in a tribute on Twitter, while Nile Rodgers tweeted: “You are a smooth brother. Thanks for all the great music.”

Robbie Robertson, former lead guitarist and songwriter for The Band, tweeted: “Charlie’s drumming is powerful and unique. His approach is entirely his own and helped shape the sound of rock and roll. Blessings Charlie Watts.”

Musician Bryan Adams said on Twitter: “RIP Charlie Watts, one of the greatest rock drummers ever and a real gentleman.

“Condolences to his family and the band.”

There were also tributes from outside of the music sphere, with author Irvine Welsh writing on Twitter: “RIP Charlie Watts.

“Always steadfastly came over as a no-nonsense honest broker in a situation where the acclaim, wealth, pomposity and egotism could corrupt the sweetest of souls.”

Monty Python star Eric Idle said on Twitter: “Saddened by the loss of Charlie Watts. A kind and gentle man. He will be very missed.”

-AAP

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