British rock band the Rolling Stones' longtime drummer Charlie Watts passed away at the age of 80 this week, his publicist confirmed. Watts, known as one of the top drummers in the world, had a reported net worth of around $250 million at the time of his death.
“Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of the Rolling Stones, one of the greatest drummers of his generation,” stated publicist Bernard Doherty of the legendary musician. Watts had recently withdrawn from the band’s “No Filter” tour due to health issues.
Charlie Watts and the Rolling Stones
Watts joined the fledgling group the Rolling Stones in 1963 upon the suggestion of a friend, expecting the gig to last only a few months at the most.
Alongside the Beatles, the band shot to stardom during the height of the British Invasion, but Watts always avoided the limelight and preferred to focus on the music. When interviewed by The Guardian in 2000, Watts explained his disdain for wild female fans and said although the attention was flattering, “Playing the drums was all I was ever interested in.”
The Rolling Stones enjoyed immense fame and fortune over nearly 60 years of performing. The band won four Grammy awards plus multiple other nominations, a lifetime achievement award in 1986, and other awards from the MTV Video Music Awards, Billboard, and more.
In 1989, the band was inducted by Pete Townshend into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On his own, Watts was named to Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Bandmate Keith Richards said of Watts, “When we got Charlie, that really made it for us.”
Will Charlie Watts’s fortune go to his widow?
Watts was somewhat of an anomaly in the world of rock’n’roll, being one of the rare celebrities to shun the advances of admiring fans. He was married for 57 years to Shirley Ann Shepherd—a reportedly happy union that lasted nearly as long as his partnership with the Stones.
The media consistently portrayed Watts as an ever-faithful husband, so it seems likely that the majority of the rocker’s fortune has been left to his widow Shirley. In a documentary covering the Rolling Stones’ 1972 American Tour, the show described the band’s visit to the Playboy mansion, along with Watts’s interest in Hugh Hefner’s game room instead of the ladies.
Charlie and Shirley also shared one daughter together. Assuming no divisions in the family, his wife, daughter Seraphina, and granddaughter Charlotte would be the expected heirs to Watts’s fortune.
The Rolling Stones earned millions through their tours, including “A Bigger Bang Tour,” which grossed over $558 million. The “Voodoo Lounge” tour in 1994–1995 grossed $320 million at that time ($543 million adjusted for inflation).
In addition to the money earned through Rolling Stones tours and record sales, Watts and his wife owned an Arabian horse farm in Devon, so the revenue from that would remain with her as the continuing owner.