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Charlie Watts : an icon praised by the Arab world

On August 24, 2021, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, self-proclaimed "greatest rock band of all time", passed away at the age of 80. His death has affected millions of fans around the world, especially his Arab fans, who were quick to express their sadness on social networks. Let's take a look at an emblematic - but discreet - figure of the music world.

An interplanetary success…

The Rolling Stones band was formed in 1962, and Charlie Watts joined a year later, along with Bill Wyman, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Ian Stewart at the time.

The success is dazzling, their “blues rock” seducing the United Kingdom, then quickly the planet, hence the real “British Invasion“! Through the whirlwind of popularity, the sometimes dark world of rock’n’roll and the downfalls that young men raised as gods can experience, Charlie Watts is often described as “the calm in the middle of the Rolling Stones storm“.

With an almost impassive face during performances and a sober style, maintaining a measured and controlled sense of rhythm, he contrasted with the extravagance of a Mick Jagger or a Keith Richards. Married to Shirley Shepherd in 1965, with whom he remained until his death, he embodied a certain constancy within a world of excess.

His passion for jazz, which led him to music in the first place, pushed him to perform outside the Rolling Stones band: in the 90s, he played in a quintet. While their success was due in large part to his name, he remained humble and never put himself forward.

…Beyond Death

The band toured the world, and also visited the Middle East: in 2014, they fulfilled the wish of thousands of fans by performing no less than 19 hits on the stage in Abu Dhabi. It was their first performance in the Middle East, and a historic moment.

In spite of this only appearance, the fans are multiple.

We notice the passion of fans coming from all over the Arab world, and , in the middle of numerous personalities of the world of rock – and not only – as Sir Elton John, Paul McCartney or Lenny Kravitz, they reacted to the artist’s death.

There are numerous tweets and posts, whether they are photos, videos, clips of concerts, wishes to the family or simply love and admiration confessions for the artist.

We can read:

Do you think the Stones will continue after the death of Charlie Watts??

 

I live tweeted about Charlie Watts when they held an online concert during Coronavirus (…) I love him so much. May his soul rest in peace

 

The Rolling Stones have marked several generations and continue to inspire today. They are proof that music knows no boundaries, and Charlie Watts will always be remembered and cherished.