Few drummers have had a bigger impact on rock music than Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ man behind the kit for over 50 years. Look no further than the immediate outpouring of tributes upon news of his August 24 death, from the Stones’ classic-rock peers to the generations of musicians, and drummers in particular, who followed in Watts’s footsteps. “#God bless Charlie Watts, we’re going to miss you man,” Beatles drummer Ringo Starr tweeted. In a video message, Starr’s fellow Beatle Paul McCartney remembered Watts as “a rock, and a fantastic drummer.” Singer-songwriter Elton John tweeted, “Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company.” And announcing Watts’s death at 80, after recovering from a medical procedure, the musician’s publicist declared him “one of the greatest drummers of his generation” in a statement.
Later on Tuesday, Watts’s Rolling Stones bandmates also honored their drummer. Singer Mick Jagger simply posted a photo of Watts behind the drum kit, while guitarist Keith Richards posted a picture of a drum kit with a closed sign. “I love you my fellow Gemini ~ I will dearly miss you ~ you are the best,” tweeted guitarist Ronnie Wood. Read more tributes to Charlie Watts below, from musicians including Roots drummer Questlove, Yoko Ono, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, the Cure drummer Lol Tolhurst, Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor, the Go-Go’s, The Who guitarist Pete Townshend, Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson, Joan Jett, Dinosaur Jr. singer J. Mascis, Patti Smith, the Black Keys, Nile Rodgers, Liz Phair, and more.
This post has been updated throughout.