Sir Elton John said: “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.”
Bryan Adams described Watts as “one of the greatest rock drummers ever and a real gentleman”.
Watts overcame throat cancer in 2004, aged 63.
He joined the band in early 1963 and was its oldest member. His rock’n’roll indulges came relatively late in Stones’ terms – he binged on drink and drugs in the 1980s, which he then quit and later dismissed as “a mid-life thing”.
While Jagger soaked up the adulation from female fans, Watts preferred to concentrate on the music.
“Girls chasing you down the street, screaming… horrible,” he told the Guardian in 2000. “I hated it. Playing the drums was all I was ever interested in.”