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Six decades of rock ‘n’ roll: The extraordinary life of Charlie Watts in pictures

Written by on 25/08/2021

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stone’s long-time drummer and lover of all things jazz, passed away this week.

He was 80 years old.

Watts, who had celebrated his birthday in June, joined the Rolling Stones in 1963.

He had grown up in Wembley, north London, and met fellow Stone, Mick Jagger, as a teenager.

Sky News has dug through archives to show Watts’ extraordinary life in pictures.

Charlie Watts in 1964
Image: 1964: Charlie Watts – a year after joining the Rolling Stones
Charlie Watts with his wife Shirley in 1964. Pic: John Schute/Daily Mail/Shutterstock
Image: 1964: Charlie Watts with his wife Shirley, who he married in that year – they had met before he joined the Stones. Pic: John Schute/Daily Mail/Shutterstock
The Rolling Stones performing in 1964. Pic: Bill Orchard/Shutterstock
Image: 1964: The Rolling Stones performing, with Watts on the drums at the back. Pic: Bill Orchard/Shutterstock
The Rolling Stones perform on Frost On Saturday in 1968. Pic: ITV/Shutterstock
Image: 1968: Watts performing with The Rolling Stones on the short-lived Frost On Saturday. Pic: ITV/Shutterstock
Rock And Roll Circus in 1968. Pic: David Magnus/Shutterstock
Image: 1968: The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus – where the group organised a show featuring Jethro Tull, The Who and John Lennon in a circus tent. Pic: David Magnus/Shutterstock
1969
New member Mick Taylor (c) joins the Rolling Stones to replace lead guitarist Brian Jones, pictured in Hyde Park, London. (l-r) Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts.
Image: 1969: Watts is on the right here, as new member Mick Taylor (middle) joins The Rolling Stones, replacing Brian Jones who the band fired, shortly before his death the same year
Elton John and Charlie Watts in 1975. Pic: Dezo Hoffman/Shutterstock
Image: 1975: Elton John paid tribute to Charlie Watts following the announcement of his death – here they are together in the 70s. Pic: Dezo Hoffman/Shutterstock
Charlie Watts's Jazz Band playing at Ronnie Scott's club in 1985. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock
Image: 1985: He wasn’t just the Stone’s drummer though – here he is with his jazz band playing at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s club. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock
1986 Grammy Awards Presentation at the Kensington Roof Gardens Charlie Watts with His Wife Shirley and Daughter Seraphina. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock
Image: 1986: Watts with his family at the Grammy Awards Presentation at the Kensington Roof Gardens. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock
1990: Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts blowing out the candles on Ronnie and Charlie's birthday cake. Ronnie is 43 years old and Charlie is 49 years old. Pic: Eugene Adebari/Shutterstock
Image: 1990: Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts blowing out the candles on Ronnie and Charlie’s birthday cake. Ronnie is 43 years old and Charlie is 49. Pic: Eugene Adebari/Shutterstock
Watts and his jazz group "The Tentet" performing in Barcelona in 2001.
Image: 2001: Watts and jazz group The Tentet performing in Barcelona
New York, 2002. Pic: Richard Young/Shutterstock
Image: 2002: The Rolling Stones in New York promoting their tour – they had been together for an incredible 40 years that year. Pic: Richard Young/Shutterstock
Charlie Watts performing with the band 'The ABC & D of Boogie Woogie' at the Casino in Herisau Switzerland. Pic: Ennio Leanza/EPA/Shutterstock
Image: 2010: Watts performing with the band ‘The ABC & D of Boogie Woogie’ at the Casino in Herisau Switzerland. Pic: Ennio Leanza/EPA/Shutterstock
2013. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock
Image: 2013. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock
2013 - Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts from The Rolling Stones perform on stage during Barclaycard British Summer Time in Hyde Park, London.
Image: 2013: Still going strong – The Rolling Stones performing on stage during Barclaycard British Summer Time in Hyde Park after headlining Glastonbury the same year.
The Rolling Stones arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel in 2014. Pic: Israel Sun/Shutterstock
Image: 2014: The Rolling Stones arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel – still clocking up the air miles. Pic: Israel Sun/Shutterstock
2018: Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones during their gig at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Image: 2018: Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts during a Rolling Stones gig at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland

 Sky News

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