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Rock & roll has never been a genre famous for long-lasting romantic relationships. However, Charlie and Shirley Watts proved that love can still prevail through a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Sadly, Shirley passed away last Friday from a short illness at the age of 84, just over a year after the death of her husband, Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts.
Shirley’s family announced in a statement, “It is with great sadness that Seraphina, Charlotte and Barry announce the death of their much-loved mother, grandmother and mother-in law Shirley Watts. Shirley died peacefully on Friday December 16 in Devon after a short illness surrounded by her family.”
“She will be also sadly missed by her sisters Jackie and Jill, and her brother Stephen. Reunited now forever with her beloved Charlie.”
In 1961, Shirley was studying sculpture at the Royal College of Art while Charlie was a graphic designer/part time jazz musician. At the time, Charlie was drumming with Alex Korner’s Blues Incorporated, and he ended up meeting Shirley during one the band’s rehearsals. They immediately began dating and got hitched in 1964, a year after Charlie joined The Rolling Stones. In 1968, Shirley gave birth to their daughter and only child Seraphina Watts
Charlie and Shirley Watts stayed together until Charlie’s passing in 2021, marking one of rock and roll’s sweetest love stories. Not only were they married for 57 years, but they also remained madly in love and extremely fond of each other. Charlie even attributed to Shirley and Seraphina to saving his life from drugs.
“She is an incredible woman,” Charlie once said of Shirley. He also spoke of her humor. “The one regret I have of this life is that I was never home enough. But she always says when I come off tour that I am a nightmare and tells me to go back out.”
While we are so sad to hear about the passing of Shirley Watts, it is comforting that she is reunited with the love of her life.