Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Questlove, and More React to Death of Charlie Watts: “The Heartbeat of Rock & Roll”

Brian Wilson, Elton John, and Joan Jett also honor The Rolling Stones legend

artists react charlie watts rolling stones drummer death
Charlie Watts, photo by David Wolff – Patrick/Redferns

    Following the death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts at the age of 80, tributes poured in from countless figures in the music and entertainment community.

    “Lots of love to his family, his wife and kids, and his extended family,” said Paul McCartney in a video posted to social media. “And condolences to the Stones. A huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock and a fantastic drummer. Steady as a rock.”

    “God bless Charlie Watts,” added fellow drumming legend Ringo Starr. “We’re going to miss you man peace and love to the family.”


    Meanwhile, Questlove of The Roots dubbed Watts “the heartbeat of Rock & Roll.”

    Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys said, “I’m just shocked to hear about Charlie Watts. I don’t know what to say, I feel terrible for Charlie’s family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records. Love & Mercy.”

    Elton John described Watts as “the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company.”

    In an especially poignant tribute, The Who’s Pete Townshend wrote, “Charlie Watts wept at Keith Moon’s funeral. I wish I was capable of such tears today. Instead, I just want to say goodbye.”


    Find more tributes to Charlie Watts below.

    Paul McCartney

    Ringo Starr

    Questlove of The Roots

    Brian Wilson

    Elton John

    Pete Townshend of The Who

    Paul Stanley of KISS

    Joan Jett

    Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses

    Slash of Guns N’ Roses

    Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath

    Stewart Copeland of The Police

    Johnny Marr of The Smiths

    Rosanne Cash

    John Fogerty

    Def Leppard

    Nile Rogers

    Duran Duran

    Billy Idol

    Lol Tolhurst of The Cure

    Dave Davies

    Tom Morello

    Perry Farrell

    Chuck D

    Geoff Barrow of Portishead and BEAK>

    Lenny Kravitz

    Liam Gallagher

    Jason Isbell


    Sheryl Crow

    Todd Kerns

    Eric Idle

    Rick Astley

    Shavo Odadjian of System of a Down

    John 5

    Mike Portnoy

    Margo Price

    Des Rocs

    Abbey Road Studios

    Global Citizen

    Stephen King

    Irvine Welsh

    Hugh Laurie

    Patton Oswalt

    Bill Burr

    Eddie Izzard