Charlie Watts, a prince of jazz who became a king of Rock n’ roll
Charlie Watts is an artist and a great lover of art in general, he has shown great artistic talent since his early school years, shortly after his birth in 1941. Born and educated in London, the young Watts also proved to be an accomplished sportsman, very strong in soccer and cricket. Young Watts played in the rubble of buildings destroyed by German bombing. The Watts family lived in a prefabricated house like many citizens of the war-torn city.
Charlie Watts fell in love with jazz music at an early age, and it was this spark that led him on the path to a professional career in music.
He received a drum set as a gift from his parents, and after many hours of playing with it, he mastered his new toy and proved that he was extremely talented, so he decided to enroll in Harrow Art School.
He decides to join the Rolling Stones
His talent as a drummer is obvious and so is his passion for music, but Charlie Watts turns to graphic design after leaving art school in order to earn a living and get a paycheck at the end of the month. Nevertheless, he still finds time to play drums for various bands in his spare time.
Thanks to his innate talent, he became one of the stars of the London music scene, eventually meeting Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Ian Stewart and Keith Richards.
All his youth he dreamed of becoming a musician, in 1963 he joined the Rolling Stones.
Charlie Watts meets success
Charlie Watts scored his first hit as a member of his new band with the 1965 release of the single “Satisfaction. Widely regarded as one of the best singles of all time, “Satisfaction” quickly topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, establishing Watts and the rest of the Rolling Stones as a force to be reckoned with. After a string of other hit songs like “Paint It Black” and “Ruby Tuesday,” Watts was recognized as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time.
Watts was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame, and the Rolling Stones were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2020, the band is still together and touring – although Charlie Watts has since explored other musical opportunities outside the band. The drummer’s true passion has always been jazz music, although he is best known for his work within the rock genre.
Charlie Watts met his wife, Shirley Ann Shepard before he experienced success through The Rolling Stones, and he has been happily married to her since 1964. Four years later, the couple welcomed their first and only child into the world – a daughter whom they named Serafina. Their daughter also has one child of her own – the only granddaughter of Charlie Watts. The girl is named Charlotte.
In 2004, his life took a sharp turn as he was diagnosed with throat cancer. This particular type of cancer is linked with smoking, and it seemed as though Charlie Watts’ decision to give up cigarettes back in the 80s wasn’t enough to avoid this fate.
Despite this worrying development, his cancer was successfully treated and went into remission. This allowed the legendary drummer to return to his musical career and rejoin his touring bandmates once again.
With his very temperamental personality, Charlie Watts left an indelible mark on the music world. Although very happy to be forgotten by the media as the most discreet member of the Rolling Stones, Watts demanded that he be respected for his work, he did not hesitate to raise his hand against Mick Jagger because he spoke vulgarly to him.
With so much talent, Charlie Watts was destined for an extraordinary destiny, leaving his family a considerable fortune of more than 250 million US dollars.