Charlie Watts, the drummer of the legendary British rock'n'roll band the Rolling Stones, died on Tuesday at the age of 80, his publicist said, reports AFP.
"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," publicist Bernard Doherty said in a statement. "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.
Watts was known as the quiet man of the riotous band, which helped define the Swinging Sixties with timeless hits such as "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".
His level head off the stage was reflected in his metronomic time-keeping on stage, counterbalancing the energy and charisma of singer Mick Jagger and guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood.
Icons from the music industry paid tribute.
Fellow British star Elton John called it a "very sad day". "Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer," he wrote on Facebook.
"The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte (Watts' widow, daughter and granddaughter). And of course, The Rolling Stones."
Watts announced earlier this month that he would miss the resumption of the Rolling Stones' tour of the United States next month after undergoing a medical procedure.
"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," a spokesman said at the time.
Stones frontman Mick Jagger said at the time that the band "really look forward to welcoming Charlie back as soon as he is fully recovered".
The Sun tabloid reported that Watts underwent a procedure in London after "doctors spotted a problem during a routine check-up".