Charlie Watts had to step out of the Rolling Stone tour due to health issues. It was yesterday when his publicist announced that the legend had passed away in London due to throat cancer.
Bernard Doherty said Tuesday that Watts “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,” Doherty said.
The musician had been battling the disease for 17 years.
In 2004, Watts was diagnosed with throat cancer. "I thought I was going to die when they told me I had it, which is what most people go through,” he told the Mirror in 2012. "You think, 'Ah, well, that’s it.' I didn’t know how to deal with it. The lowest point was the moment he told me I had cancer."
Watts underwent treatment and his cancer was in remission. But recently Watts had announced he would not tour with the Stones in 2021 because of an undefined health issue.
Watts stayed on, and largely held himself apart, through the drug abuse, creative clashes and ego wars that helped kill founding member Brian Jones, drove bassist Bill Wyman and Jones’ replacement Mick Taylor to quit and otherwise made being in the Stones a most exhausting job.
In 1997 Watts told Rolling Stone magazine, “It’d be nice to be rich and grow old. I’d hate to be shuffling ’round Brixton Market in a pair of slippers. Then again, I’ll probably be shuffling ’round the garden."