Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies at age 80

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FILE – Charlie Watts, of the Rolling Stones, performs during a concert of the group’s No Filter Europe Tour at U Arena in Nanterre, outside Paris, France, Oct. 22, 2017. Watts will likely miss the band’s upcoming U.S. tour to allow him to recover from an unspecified medical procedure. A spokesperson for the musician said Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, the procedure was “completely successful” but that Watts needs time to recuperate. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

LONDON (AP) — Charlie Watts, the drummer who provided the backbone of the Rolling Stones’ songs for more than half a century, has died, his publicist said. He was 80.

Bernard Doherty said Tuesday that Watts “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.”

Doherty said: “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.”

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