Shirley Ann Watts, wife of the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, has died at the age of 84, the Associated Press reported.
The two had one of the most lasting and stable marriages in the world of show business. The musician passed away on August 24, 2021.
Charlie and Shirley, who is a former art student and prominent Arabian horse breeder, met long before he became part of the Rolling Stones.
“Shirley passed away peacefully on Friday, December 16 in Devon after a short illness, surrounded by her family,” the family said in a statement. Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones was among those who did not hide their sadness.
“We will miss you so much but … reunited with your beloved Charlie,” he wrote on Facebook.
While Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had many wives and girlfriends, Charlie and Shirley Watts stayed together for more than 50 years, until the drummer’s death. Their only known crisis came in the mid-1980s, when he struggled with heroin addiction, a moment he later admitted almost destroyed their marriage. Watts was considered so devoted to his wife and daughter Seraphina that journalists left him alone.
“I’ve always wanted to be a drummer (and) as long as my wife feels good, I’ll keep doing it,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1996.
They lived on a manor house in Devon. Charlie and Shirley didn’t like to draw attention to themselves, but sometimes they did, notes the Associated Press.
Shirley Watts was arrested at Nice airport in 1971 for assaulting customs officials as they tried to attract her husband’s attention. In 2016, she threatened to sue Polish government officials over the alleged mistreatment of two Arabian mares in a state farm.