Music stars lead tributes after The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies aged 80

Sir Elton John and Sir Ringo Starr have joined names from across the music world to pay tribute to The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts following his death aged 80.

A statement by his publicist said Watts, who had been a member of the rock group since 1963, was a “cherished husband, father and grandfather” and “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”.

The news comes just weeks after it was announced that the drummer, who celebrated his 80th birthday in June, was to miss the band’s forthcoming US tour.

After the news broke on Tuesday, Sir Elton posted a picture of the pair and said in a Twitter post: “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.”

His Beatles counterpart Sir Ringo also tweeted a picture, writing: “God bless Charlie Watts, we’re going to miss you man, peace and love to the family, Ringo.”

Singer Sheryl Crow said there was a “gaping hole in the universe” following his death in a tribute on Twitter, while Nile Rodgers tweeted: “You are a smooth brother. Thanks for all the great music.”

Robbie Robertson, former lead guitarist and songwriter for The Band, tweeted: “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.”

Musician Bryan Adams said on Twitter: “RIP Charlie Watts, one of the greatest rock drummers ever and a real gentleman.

“Condolences to his family and the band.”

There were also tributes from outside of the music sphere, with author Irvine Welsh writing on Twitter: “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.”

The statement announcing the drummer’s death said: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.

“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.

“We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”