Just minutes after the news of Charlie Watts’ passing broke, the Rolling Stones posted a statement from the drummer’s publicist expressing “immense sadness” at his passing and remembering him as “one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”
Hours later, Mick Jagger tweeted an appropriately laconic tribute to his recently-deceased bandmate and man of few words. The Stones frontman posted a simple photo of Watts behind his drum kit laughing.
Beatle Paul McCartney posted a video message in which he offered his condolences to Watts’ family and the band saying, “He was a lovely guy. I knew he was ill, but I didn’t know he was this ill.”
McCartney then went on to characterize Watts as a musician.
“Charlie was a rock,” said McCartney, “and a fantastic drummer. Steady as a rock.”
Friend Elton John called Watts, “the ultimate drummer.” The sartorially-minded John also remembered Watts as, “The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company.”
Who legend Pete Townshend recalled that Watts cried at Keith Moon’s funeral lamenting, “I wish I was capable of such tears today. Instead I just want to say goodbye. Not a rock drummer, a jazz drummer really, and that’s why the Stones swung like the Basie band!!”
The official Who Twitter account paid tribute with a lone photo of Watts with a quizzical look on his face.
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr wrote, “God bless Charlie Watts we’re going to miss you man peace and love to the family,” and followed with a second post with just a photo of himself and Watts chatting.
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) August 24, 2021
Paul on Charlie Watts ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rn2elK6cFE
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 24, 2021
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 (@eltonofficial) August 24, 2021
— The Who (@TheWho) August 24, 2021
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) August 24, 2021
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) August 24, 2021
I’m just shocked to hear about Charlie Watts. I don’t know what to say, I feel terrible for Charlie’s family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records. Love & Mercy. pic.twitter.com/C4q2zXvVKo
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) August 24, 2021
— John Fogerty (@John_Fogerty) August 24, 2021
— Dave Davies (@davedavieskinks) August 24, 2021
A hero is gone. No words. A huge gaping hole in the universe.
RIP Charlie Watts. https://t.co/kLSaIF9JKn
— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) August 24, 2021
— Stewart Copeland (@copelandmusic) August 24, 2021
Very sorry to hear of the passing of The RollingStones Drummer Charlie Watts.
My deepest condolences to his family, the band and the fans.
— Axl Rose (@axlrose) August 24, 2021
RIP CHARLIE WATTS
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) August 24, 2021
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) August 24, 2021
Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed – no more – no less. He is one of a kind. pic.twitter.com/aasPZ2fMYX
— Joan Jett (@joanjett) August 24, 2021
Charlie’s drumming is powerful and unique. His approach is entirely his own and helped shape the sound of rock and roll. Blessings Charlie Watts.
— Robbie Robertson (@r0bbier0berts0n) August 24, 2021
— Stephen Stills Official (@Stephen__Stills) August 24, 2021
Rock n roll would not be rock n roll without the rhythm, the style, the VIBE of this incredible musician. Rest In Peace #CharlieWatts, one of the greatest and most important architects of the music we love. pic.twitter.com/xEfzaSLCba
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) August 24, 2021
There goes a hero. 🖤
Dear Charlie Watts. What a legend. Sad to see him go. pic.twitter.com/jYmEJlFnZ7
— Garbage (@garbage) August 24, 2021
— Dinosaur Jr (@dinosaurjr) August 24, 2021
"Charlie Watts is one of the greatest drummers the damn world is ever gonna see."
– Keith Richards
1941-2021. Rest in peace Charlie. pic.twitter.com/mZhzkY1Hb8
— Rough Trade (@RoughTrade) August 24, 2021
Peace and love, Charlie Watts. 💔 pic.twitter.com/SSc7s3Qf9w
— Susanna Hoffs (@SusannaHoffs) August 24, 2021
Drummers are the most ensnared individuals. Though they are loudest, they are the last to be heard. They have insecurities due to the fact that everyone has their back turned on them. Herein lies the band’s secret; there is no greatness- without a great drummer. RIP Charlie Watts pic.twitter.com/sAcE7SYiBY
— Perry Farrell (@perryfarrell) August 24, 2021
So saddened to hear about the passing of Charlie Watts . An absolute inspiration to a legion of drummers since the 1960’s. A man of grace , style , dignity and composure . pic.twitter.com/Nu4msDShAF
— Duran Duran (@duranduran) August 24, 2021
thank you Charlie Watts 💔 pic.twitter.com/bKW1CwVGxD
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) August 24, 2021
RIP Charlie Watts. Always steadfastly came over as a no-nonsense honest broker in a situation where the acclaim, wealth, pomposity and egotism could corrupt the sweetest of souls.
— Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh) August 24, 2021
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) August 24, 2021
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) August 24, 2021
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) August 24, 2021
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies aged 80 https://t.co/LUVShR1yaM via @YahooNews AWFUL NEWS. One of the true timeless icons and the backbone of the Stones. Hard to fathom the loss. So very sad.
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) August 24, 2021
Charlie Watts on a donkey, in the middle of a highway, in "Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out." pic.twitter.com/gtjvB5smp8
— Janus Films (@janusfilms) August 24, 2021
— Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) August 24, 2021
RIP Charlie Watts. Nobody better.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) August 24, 2021