Charlie Robert Watts was born June 2, 1941 at University College Hospital in Bloomsbury, London. His dad was Charles Richard Watts, a lorry driver for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, and his mom was Lillian Charlotte (née Eaves).
As a child he lived in Wembley, at 23 Pilgrims Way, in a prefab (the United Kingdom’s post–Second World War housing) since many of Wembley’s houses had been bombed by the Luftwaffe. He played jazz 78 rpm records with his friend Dave Green and attended Tylers Croft Secondary Modern School from 1952 to 1956. He had talents for art, music, cricket and football. At 13 he became interested in drumming. He bought a banjo, but ended up removing the head and putting it on a stand and playing it as a drum.
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.Elton John
His parents came through and bought him his first kit. He later enrolled in enrolled at Harrow Art School and when he left there in 1960 he started working as a graphic designer and joined a band, a the drummer, Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated.
RIP Charlie Watts, one of the greatest rock drummers ever and a real gentleman. Condolences to his family and the band.Bryan Adams
In 1962 he met Brian Jones, Ian “Stu” Stewart, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards and joined their band, the Rolling Stones, in January 1963.
The most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll who “played exactly what was needed – no more – no less”.Joan Jett
Besides being the drummer Watts contributed graphic art and comic strips to early Rolling Stones records such as the “Between the Buttons” record sleeve. He also designed elaborate stages for their shows like the 1975 Tour of the Americas, 1989–1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour, 1997–1998 Bridges to Babylon Tour,
He was the nicest gent you could ever meet. And such a pillar of strength for the Rolling Stones – to whom he brought a touch of Jazz and a mountain of pure class.Brian May
2002–2003 Licks Tour and the 2005–2007 A Bigger Bang Tour. He would play with Ian Stewart in the band Rocket 88 and had a jazz quintet as a tribute to Charlie Parker.
God bless Charlie Watts we’re going to miss you man peace and love to the familyRingo Starr
Watts was known for his wardrobe: British newspaper The Daily Telegraph named him one of the World’s Best Dressed Men. In 2006, Vanity Fair elected Watts into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. On 14 October 1964, Watts married Shirley Ann Shepherd (born 11 September 1938), whom he had met before the band became successful. The couple had one daughter, Seraphina, born in March 1968, who in turn gave birth to Watts’s only grandchild, a girl named Charlotte.
A unique, iconic drummer (and dancer)Stewart Copeland
Watts lived near Dolton, a rural village in west Devon, where he owned an Arabian horse stud farm. He also liked to collect cars even though he didn’t drive and would simply sit in them in his garage.
His simple style was a lesson to us allRoger Taylor (Duran Duran drummer)
Charlie Watts passed away peacefully in a London hospital on August 24, 2021, surrounded by his family, at the age of 80.