Keith Urban ‘Truly Saddened’ by Death of Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts
Referring to Watts' sharp suits and professional demeanor, Urban calls him the "gentleman soul of rock and roll" in his tribute, posted alongside an undated photo of the country star with the rock veteran.
"The heart beat of one of the greatest bands of all time," Urban says of Watts, "a truly one of a kind musician who’s influence is unquantifiable AND will continue to be for as long as there are musicians who are working to shed all that is not needed, to get to THE ESSENCE (sic).
"I didn’t even properly know you, but I love you Charlie, and I thank you for all that you gave us," Urban adds. "I’m so grateful that through countless recordings we will always be not only hearing you, but FEELING you!"
Ultimate Classic Rock reports that Watts died at the age of 80 on Tuesday (Aug. 24); no cause of death was given, but a statement shared by his bandmates explains that he was surrounded by family. Earlier in August, the Stones announced he'd sit out their 2021 tour due to an undisclosed surgery. He'd played on every Stones album, single and tour for nearly 50 years, from 1963 to 2021.
While the Rolling Stones never had a country hit, they were certainly a favorite among artists. Brad Paisley is one of the few who got a chance to perform with them, singing a version of "Dead Flowers" that made their live album in 2013.
"I've been ripping the Rolling Stones off with every song I write in some form or another. We’ll all ripping them off, every artist who's ever played anything near what they do," Paisley previously told Rolling Stone.
In 1997, Travis Tritt, Tracy Lawrence, George Jones and more were part of a tribute album to the Rolling Stones called Stone Country: Country Artists Perform the Songs of the Rolling Stones. It was a modest success.