Partner of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards since the group’s beginnings in 1963, the musician died in a London hospital. Always elegant and poised, he was a pillar of the Stones as well as their singer and their guitarist.

It’s a rock legend who is gone. Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has passed away at the age of 80. his disappearance was announced by his agent Bernard Doherty, deploring the disappearance of “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear Charlie Watts,” said his agent in a statement, adding that he “died peacefully in a London hospital earlier in the day, surrounded by his family “. “Charlie was a beloved husband, father and grandfather and also, as a member of the Rolling Stones, one of the greatest drummers of his generation,” said Bernard Doherty. “We ask that the privacy of his family, group members and close friends be respected in these difficult times,” he added.

A spokesperson for the artist had already announced in early August that he would not participate in the group’s American tour, scheduled for the fall, for medical reasons. “Charlie has undergone a successful operation,” but his doctors believe he needs rest, he said at the time, without further clarification. In 2004, he was treated for throat cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, from which he recovered after four months of struggle, including six weeks of intensive radiotherapy. Charlie Watts had chosen himself the drummer to replace him on this tour, the American Steve Jordan, 64, who has participated in several recording sessions with the Stones.

The drummer, who turned 80 in June, had been a member of the Rolling Stones since 1963. Along with singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, Charlie Watts was among the oldest members of the famous rock band, which saw Mick on parade. Taylor, Ronnie Wood or even Bill Wyman.

Coming from jazz, he was as essential to the sound of the Stones by his unique style as Keith Richards by his guitar riffs or Mick Jagger by his phrasing. He was also the stable element between the hypertrophied egos of the singer and the guitarist, the one they turned to in their moments of quarrel. In concert, his impassive face and impeccable binary rhythm offered a perfect counterpoint to Jagger’s stage performance and the intertwining of Richards and Wood’s guitars.