Tributes to Charlie Watts have been pouring in since the sad news of his death broke earlier today. They have come from all over the musical and cultural spectrum, as you might imagine, with the loss of the backbeat to one of the biggest, most influential rock groups of all time.
"A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer," wrote Elton John. "The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones."
Ringo Starr wrote, "God bless Charlie Watts we’re going to miss you man peace and love to the family." Fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, in a video posted to Twitter, said, "Charlie was a rock...I've always loved you, a beautiful man."
"I’m just shocked to hear about Charlie Watts," said Brian Wilson. "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."
The Who's Pete Townshend wrote, "Full Moon. Rainbow. Always a sign. Charlie Watts wept at Keith Moon’s funeral. I wish I was capable of such tears today. Instead I just want to say goodbye. Not a rock drummer, a jazz drummer really, and that’s why the Stones swung like the Basie band!! Such a lovely man. God bless his wife and daughter, and I’ll bet the horses will miss him too."
"A monumentally sad day learning my personal hero Charlie Watts has died," wrote E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg. "I’m devastated and my soul aches for Shirley, Serafina, the extended Watts family, and of course his band mates. I don’t know what to say really. Charlie Watts Rest In Peace my friend."
"Charlie’s drumming is powerful and unique," wrote Robbie Robertson. "His approach is entirely his own and helped shape the sound of rock and roll. Blessings Charlie Watts."
Questlove called him "The heartbeat of Rock & Roll," KISS' Paul Stanley called him one of the "true timeless icons," and Michael Des Barres referred to him as "The debonair brilliance, the rhythm of the Rolling Stones." Robyn Hitchcock said he was "the motor in Britain’s sexiest beat group," and Sheryl Crow described the loss as "A huge gaping hole in the universe."
Lars Ulrich of Metallica wrote, "Thank you for paving the way. Thank you for setting the standard. Thank you for making it swing. Thank you for being cool as fuck. Thank you for literally inspiring every single rock ‘n’ roll drummer on this planet."
You can also read tributes to Charlie from The Who, John Fogerty, Nile Rodgers, Carl Palmer, Bootsy Collins, Perry Farrell, Nancy Sinatra, Sonic Youth, Dave Davies (The Kinks), Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead), Hall & Oates, Jason Isbell, Chuck D, Jon Wurster, Sloan, Sleater-Kinney, Dinosaur Jr, Tom Morello, Liz Phair, Michael McKean, Axl Rose, Slash, Joan Jett, Billy Corgan, and more.
Rest easy, Charlie.