Born on June 2, 1941, in London, England. For more than four decades, Charlie Watts has been a prominent figure in the world of rock and roll as the longtime drummer of the Rolling Stones. He grew up in Wembley near London as the son of a truck driver.
The Rolling Stones scored their first No. 1 hit in the United States in 1965 with "Satisfaction." A string of other successful songs quickly followed such as "Paint It Black" and "Ruby Tuesday." The "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band" continued to enjoy enormous popularity for the next two decades.
While the rest of the band was cultivating their image as rock music's bad boys, Watts was settling down. He married Shirley Ann Shephard in 1964, and the couple welcomed a daughter named Seraphina four years later.
Around the age of ten, Watts discovered jazz and blues music; Miles Davis and John Coltrane were two of his early influences. He started playing music on his own a few years later, converting a banjo into a snare drum. But music was just a side interest for Watts at the time. He left school at 16, and then studied at the Harrow School of Art.
By the 1980s, Watts found time to pursue projects outside the Rolling Stones. He returned to his first love, jazz, by forming a number of different groups, including a 32-piece band called the Charlie Watts Orchestra. Around that same time, Watts worked with early Rolling Stones member Ian Stewart in the band Rocket 88.
In the early 1990s, Watts released several albums with another group, the Charlie Watts Quintet, including a tribute to Charlie Parker. He joined forces with drummer Jim Keltner for 2000's Charlie Watts/Jim Keltner Project, which covered a broad spectrum of musical styles. In 2004, he put out an album with Charlie Watts and the Tentet, another jazz ensemble. Watts, a longtime smoker, was also diagnosed with throat cancer that year. He received treatment, and made a full recovery.
Watts continues to record and play with the Rolling Stones and expects to stay with the band until Mick Jagger or Keith Richards decides to retire