“It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” a statement said. It said he was “a cherished husband, father and grandfather” and “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”. Tributes have come from stars including The Beatles’ Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr, and Sir Elton John. Sir Paul described Watts as “a lovely guy” and “a fantastic drummer” who was “steady as a rock”. The news came weeks after it was announced that Watts would miss the band’s US tour dates to recover from an unspecified medical procedure. Watts was previously treated for throat cancer in 2004. He had been a member of the Stones since January 1963, when he joined Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones in their fledgling group.