'Reunited Forever': Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts’ wife Shirley dies at 82, months after his death
DEVON, PENNSYLVANIA: Shirley Watts, who was married to Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, has died aged 82 after suffering from a short illness. The news comes 16 months after the Rolling Stones drummer lost his battle with cancer. Their children released a statement announcing that Shirley died surrounded by her family on Friday, December 16.
"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," the statement read. "Shirley died peacefully on Friday 16th December 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."
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Shirley Watts, previously Shirley Ann Shepherd, was born in September 1938. She studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1961 around the same time when she met Charlie Watts who was then a graphic designer and part-time jazz musician. According to the DailyMail, Charlie worked a day job at an advertising agency at the time while also gigging as a drummer with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. The pair reportedly met during his first rehearsal. They married three years later in 1964 before the Rolling Stones rose to fame.
Shirley Watts has passed. She’s spent the last year without Charlie after 56 years of marriage. They are together again 🙏🏻❤️😔 pic.twitter.com/MdqtJ0oKYN— Josh Looper (@dualshowman) December 19, 2022
Four years later Shirley gave birth to their daughter, Seraphina and the couple then moved to Devon. This is where Shirley began running a world-class Arabian stud farm while also firming her position as a highly respected breeder and showperson in the International Arabian horse community.
Shirley and Charlie were married for 57 years during which Shirley remained the love of his life. The 'Rolling Stones’ drummer often mentioned being glad to have met Shirley before reaching stardom. He also admitted to regularly turning down sex with groupies to avoid infidelity with his wife.
🙏 @SallyWood & I are very sad to hear about the death of our friend Shirley Watts. We will miss you so much, but take comfort that you are reunited with your beloved Charlie. Our thoughts & prayers are with their daughter Seraphina, granddaughter Charlotte, & son-in-law Barry💕 pic.twitter.com/1FxGicuyPH— Ronnie Wood (@ronniewood) December 19, 2022
During an interview with NME, Charlie spoke of his wife calling him a "nightmare" at home irrespective of how rarely he was off-tour. "She is an incredible woman," he once said. "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."
Shirley Watts passed away #sad #sad #sad 💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/H71ThGSVKo— Burden (@SisterMorfine) December 19, 2022
Shirley's husband and Rolling Stones legend Charlie died aged 80 just 16 months ago on August 24, 2021. "It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family," said his London publicist, Bernard Doherty, in a statement at the time, as per DailyMail. "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."