Charlie Watts Biography: Spouse, Net Worth, Age, Songs, Photos, Instagram, Wikipedia, Height, Death

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye

Charlie Watts was a legendary musician who played the drums for the Rolling Stones, one of the most influential rock bands ever.

He was also a talented graphic artist and a devoted jazz fan who led his bands in various styles. He was admired for his skill, style, professionalism, and modest and reserved personality.

He passed away in 2021 at 80, leaving behind a legacy of music and art that spanned six decades.


  • Full name: Charles Robert Watts
  • Nickname: Charlie
  • Date of birth: June 2, 1941
  • Age: 80 years old (at the time of death)
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Bloomsbury, London, England
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Musician, graphic artist
  • Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
  • Parents: Charles Richard Watts (father), Lillian Charlotte Eaves (mother)
  • Sibling: Linda Watts (sister)
  • Spouse: Shirley Shepherd (married in 1964)
  • Children: Seraphina Watts (daughter)
  • Relationship status: Widowed (since 2021)
  • Net worth: $250 million

Early Life and Education

Charlie Watts was born on June 2, 1941, in Bloomsbury, London, to Charles Richard Watts, a lorry driver, and Lillian Charlotte Eaves, a factory worker.

He grew up in Wembley, a suburb of London, where he attended Tyler’s Croft Secondary Modern School.

From an early age, he was interested in music, especially jazz, and learned to play the drums by listening to records and practising on a makeshift kit.

He also showed a talent for drawing and painting and won a scholarship to study at the Harrow School of Art.

He later attended the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts, earning a diploma in graphic design.

Personal Life

Charlie Watts married Shirley Shepherd, a sculptor, in 1964 after meeting her in 1961.

They had a daughter, Seraphina, born in 1968, who gave them a granddaughter, Charlotte, in 1996. The couple lived in a rural estate in Devon, England, where they raised horses and dogs.

They also owned a flat in London and a home in France. Like some of his bandmates, Watts was a loyal and faithful husband who never cheated on his wife.

He was also a loving and supportive father and grandfather who enjoyed spending time with his family.


Charlie Watts began his career as a graphic artist, working for an advertising agency and designing album covers for various jazz artists.

He also played the drums for the blues band Blues Incorporated, led by Alexis Korner, where he met Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards, who later formed the Rolling Stones.

After initially declining their offer, he joined the Stones in 1963 and became their permanent drummer.

He was the only member of the Stones who never changed instruments and was known for his steady and reliable rhythm and his elegant and understated style.

He was also the oldest and the most sober member of the band, who avoided the excesses of drugs and alcohol that plagued some of his colleagues.

He was respected and admired by his fellow musicians, as well as by critics and fans, for his professionalism and integrity.

Watts also pursued his passion for jazz and formed his jazz groups, such as the Charlie Watts Quintet, the Charlie Watts Tentet, and the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie.

He played with various jazz legends, such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Duke Ellington, and recorded several albums in different genres, such as swing, bebop, and blues.

He also collaborated with artists like Jim Keltner, Bill Wyman, and Ronnie Wood on various projects. He also continued his work as a graphic artist and designed the stage sets and logos for the Rolling Stones tours and albums.

He also published several books, such as Ode to a High Flying Bird, a tribute to Charlie Parker, and Rolling Stones: An Illustrated History, a collection of his sketches and paintings.

Watts played with the Rolling Stones until he died in 2021 and was part of their No Filter Tour, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also planned to release a new album with his jazz band, the Charlie Watts Organ Trio, in 2022. He died on August 24, 2021, in a London hospital, surrounded by his family.

He was 80 years old and had been suffering from throat cancer, which he had battled in 2004. His death was mourned by his bandmates, who called him “the greatest drummer of his generation“, and the music world, who hailed him as “a rock and roll icon“.


Charlie Watts received many awards and honours for his music and art, such as:

  • Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Rolling Stones in 1989.
  • Induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2006.
  • Induction into the Jazz FM Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • The Gold Badge Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors 2014.
  • The Outstanding Contribution to Music Award from the Jazz FM Awards in 2017.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Echo Music Awards in 2018
  • The Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Queen Elizabeth II in 2006.

Net Worth

Charlie Watts was estimated to have a net worth of $250 million. He earned most of his wealth from his music career with the Rolling Stones and his solo and jazz projects.

He also had a valuable collection of art, antiques, and cars and several properties in England and France.


Charlie Watts died on August 24, 2021, at the age of 80, in a London hospital where he had been undergoing treatment for an unspecified illness.

He had previously announced that he would not participate in the Rolling Stones’ No Filter Tour, which was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that he would be replaced by Steve Jordan, a longtime friend and collaborator.

His death was announced by his publicist, Bernard Doherty, who said that he “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family”.

His bandmates, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood, expressed their grief and sadness on social media and paid tribute to their friend and colleague.

His fans and admirers shared their condolences and memories and celebrated his life and legacy.


Unlike some of his bandmates, Charlie Watts was not known for being involved in many controversies, rumours, or scandals.

He was generally regarded as calm and quiet, keeping his personal life private and avoiding media attention.

However, he did have some incidents that made the headlines, such as:

  • In 1984, he punched Mick Jagger in the face after Jagger called him “my drummer” in a drunken phone call. Watts reportedly got dressed, went to Jagger’s hotel room, and said, “Don’t ever call me your drummer again. You’re my fucking singer,” before hitting him.
  • In 1986, he was arrested for drug possession in Atlanta, Georgia, along with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood. He was released on bail, and the charges were later dropped.

Social Media

  • Instagram: N/A
  • Twitter: N/A


Charlie Watts appeared in several films and documentaries, either as himself or as a voice actor, such as:

  • Charlie Is My Darling (1966) is a documentary film about the Rolling Stones’ tour of Ireland.
  • Gimme Shelter (1970), a documentary film about the Rolling Stones’ 1969 US tour and the Altamont Free Concert.
  • Cocksucker Blues (1972), an unreleased documentary film about the Rolling Stones’ 1972 US tour.
  • The Last Waltz (1978), a concert film about The Band’s farewell performance, featuring guest appearances by the Rolling Stones and other artists.
  • Let’s Spend the Night Together (1982), a concert film about the Rolling Stones’ 1981 US tour.
  • Shine a Light (2008), a concert film about the Rolling Stones’ 2006 performances at the Beacon Theatre, directed by Martin Scorsese.
  • Crossfire Hurricane (2012) is a documentary film about the history of the Rolling Stones.
  • The Quiet One (2019) is a documentary film about the life and career of Bill Wyman, featuring interviews with the Rolling Stones and other musicians.
  • The Burnt Orange Heresy (2019), a thriller film in which he voiced the character of Alfred.
  • The Beatles: Get Back (2021), a documentary film about making the Beatles’ album Let It Be.


Charlie Watts released several albums with the Rolling Stones, as well as with his solo and jazz projects, such as:

  • With the Rolling Stones: He played on all of their studio, live, and compilation albums, from their debut album, The Rolling Stones (1964), to their latest album, Blue & Lonesome (2016). Some of their most famous albums include Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972), Some Girls (1978), Tattoo You (1981), Steel Wheels (1989), Voodoo Lounge (1994), Bridges to Babylon (1997), and A Bigger Bang (2005).
  • With the Charlie Watts Quintet: He released five albums with his jazz quintet, featuring Peter King (saxophone), Gerard Presencer (trumpet), Brian Lemon (piano), Dave Green (bass), and Bernard Fowler (vocals). The albums are From One Charlie (1991), Tribute to Charlie Parker with Strings (1992), Long Ago and Far Away (1996), Warm and Tender (1993), and The Magic of Boogie Woogie (2010).
  • With the Charlie Watts Tentet: He released two albums with his jazz tentet, featuring the same members as the quintet, plus Anthony Kerr (vibraphone), Henry Lowther (trumpet), Evan Parker (saxophone), and Alan Skidmore (saxophone). The albums are Watts at Scott’s (2004) and Live at the 606 Club (2007).
  • With the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie: He released one album with his boogie-woogie quartet, featuring Axel Zwingenberger (piano), Ben Waters (piano), Dave Green (bass), and himself on drums. The album is Live in Paris (2012).
  • With other artists: He also appeared as a guest or a collaborator on several albums by different artists, such as Rocket 88 by Rocket 88 (1981), The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions by Howlin’ Wolf (1971), Jamming with Edward! by Nicky Hopkins, Ry Cooder, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts (1972), Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band by Charlie Watts and the Danish Radio Big Band (2017), and Charlie Watts/Jim Keltner Project by Charlie Watts and Jim Keltner (2000).


Charlie Watts published several books, mostly related to his art and music, such as:

  • Ode to a High Flying Bird (1964), a tribute to Charlie Parker, featuring his drawings and text.
  • Rolling Stones: An Illustrated History (1984), a collection of his sketches and paintings of the Rolling Stones and their tours.
  • Charlie Watts’ Jazz, Blues & Boogie-Woogie (1991), a book about his jazz influences and projects, featuring his illustrations and photographs.
  • According to Rolling Stones (2003), a book about the history of Rolling Stones features interviews with band members and his artwork.
  • Charlie Watts: The Modernist (2018), a book about his style and fashion, featuring his photographs and commentary.

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