One of the most iconic drummers in rock and roll history is Charlie Watts. His contributions to music are undeniable, but what makes him so great? 

Charlie has been The Rolling Stones Drummer for over 50 years now. Unfortunately, he passed away this year(2021).

If you’re trying to learn how to play drums as Charlie does, stay with us; let’s discuss this more in our article as a tribute to Charlie.

Who is Charlie Watts?

Charlie Watts is a British musician, best known for being the drummer in The Rolling Stones. He was born on June 2nd in London, England, and has been rolling with The Stones ever since they started back in 1962.

He’s also an accomplished rock photographer, but rock music isn’t his only passion. He’s got big love for Jazz and Blues music too!

According to, Charlie began playing drums at age 15 after receiving a snare drum as a Christmas present from his parents. His next-door neighbor then lent him a full drum kit that allowed him to play along to popular songs.

Charlie was a super talented individual! Some even say that there never will be an equal talent like Charles Watts. In 1963, he joined The Rolling Stones, whose musical style is rock n’ roll with blues roots.

What happened to Rolling Stones drummer?

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ powerhouse drummer who played with them for over 50 years, died on August 24th, 2021, in London at age 80.

His publicist Bernard Doherty announced his death without any further details provided about how or why he passed away but said that it happened while Charlie was undergoing an unspecified emergency medical procedure.

Charlie’s unflashy drumming with recognizable style made him one of rock n’ roll history’s greatest drummers ever! He will be missed dearly.

What was Charlie Watts’s illness?

Despite being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004, Charlie Watts was able to go into remission after radiotherapy treatment.

He planned to join the rest of his band for their No Filter Tour but had medical issues that led him away from drumming. Unfortunately, Charlie passed away before the tour even started and was replaced by the band’s long-time friend Steve Jordan.

Was there a funeral for Charlie Watts?

Charlie Watts’ funeral was private, attended by family and close friends.

According to Rolling Stones tour manager Sam Cutler, Charlie had a modest funeral, suitable to the guy he was.

He added: “It perfectly reflects the man he was, and I completely understand the choice that was made. He would have hated a fuss and the commotion that involving the public would have meant.”

Why did the Stones miss Charlie Watts’s funeral?

Rolling Stones did not attend Charlie’s funeral, which was a shock for many fans. It was due to Covid 19 restrictions. Charlie’s funeral was in England while the band was in Boston doing rehearsals for the upcoming tour.

The band did pay respect to their groove master. They dedicated a tour to him, and before every concert, they played a video of Charlie’s photos and videos as a homage to their long-term friend.

Is Charlie Watts considered a good drummer?

Let’s put it like this; anybody whose sound can be recognized after a few seconds is a good drummer. Although Charlie was not too technical, his ability to be unique should be respected.

He was a jazz drummer that crossed into rock waters. This made him a highly versatile drummer.

The thing he was most famous for was his hi-hat “skip.” He would usually skip hi-hat when he played the snare drum that created something special and recognizable in the groove.

Even something small like this can make you stand from the crowd, and you may not recognize some drummer who is technically more advanced, but it is pretty easy to recognize Charlie Watts, so we must say Yes, he was a good drummer.

What drums did Charlie Watts play?

Before switching to Gretch drums, he played Ludwig.

He used Craviotto snare drum, and then he switched to DW

He stuck with Ufip cymbals.

His usual drum setup looked like this:

  • 12″ x 8″ mounted tom
  •  6″ x 16″ floor to
  • 22″ x 14″ bass drum
  •  14″ x 5″ snare

Where does Charlie Watts rate as best drummers of all time?

It depends.

If we would make a list of the most recognizable drummers of all time, he would definitely be in the first three.

There are more influential drummers in rock and jazz. If being such an iconic drummer counts, he would definitely find his place on both of those lists.

What does Keith Richards say about Charlie Watts?

One of the last statements Keith gave to the press about Charlie was: Charlie had an incredible sense of humor,” he said. “And my joy was I loved to crack him up. If you could hit that spot, he wouldn’t stop, and it was the funniest thing in the world. He had an incredible sense of humor that he kept to himself unless you sparked it. And then it could be painful to laugh.”

He said that Watts was his bed where he could lie down and have a good rest while still be rocking. It was like this since he was 19.

Who is Charlie Watts’s wife?

Charlie was married to Shirley Ann Shepherd. They met in 1960, and she was a fashion model with the Ford agency, who were modeling clothes for boutiques in Mayfair.

Who is the Rolling Stones’ new drummer?

For some fans, he may be unknown, but well-known for the band. His name is Steve Jordan, and he is their long-time friend. Jordan is known as a drummer for John Mayer, and he is a well-respected drummer in the drumming community.

Steve once already jumped in for Charlie in 1985 during the recording of the LP’ “Dirty Work”.

He played with almost everybody from Bob Dylan, BB King, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards.

He played with Keith Richards on several albums like:

  • Talk Is Cheap 1988
  • Main Offender 1992
  • Crosseyed Heart 2015