The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died at age 80.

Watts’ publicist confirmed the sad news in a statement to ET Canada, writing: “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.”

The message described Watts as “a cherished husband, father and grandfather” and “one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”

It added: “We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”

Watts’ fellow Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards shared tributes to their longtime bandmate on social media, with Jagger sharing a photo of Watts beaming with joy behind his drum kit, while Richards posted a pic of Watts’ drums with a “closed” sign hanging on them.

BBC first reported the news of Watts’ death, which comes after he dropped out of the Stones’ U.S. tour earlier this month after having an operation.

“Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but I gather his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation. With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming,” the Stones said in a statement.

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Memorable Moments Of The Life And Career Of Charlie Watts

In his own statement, Watts said at the time, “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. 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. I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me.”

Watts has been with the band, who are due to kick off their U.S. tour in St. Louis on Sept. 26, since its inception in 1962.

Tributes have been pouring in for the beloved musician, with Sheryl Crow posting:

See more tributes below.

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Stars We’ve Lost In 2021