Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts is being treated for throat cancer, according to wire reports.
A band spokesperson said that the 63-year-old Watts should recover after completing a course of radiotherapy at a London Hospital. Watts, who can be seen smoking in footage of the band from the 1960s, gave up cigarettes more than 20 years ago.
As the drummer for the band for its entire 40-plus year career, Watts' minimalist drumming is a key ingredient in the Stones' signature sound. A man of few words, Watts has avoided the glitterati scene inhabited by frontman Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards over the decades, instead playing the eccentric stay-at-home artist. He is an automobile collector (though he does not drive), has worked on various pet projects, including a children's book about jazz great Charlie Parker, and has recorded with '40s-style jazz bands. The Rolling Stones are neither touring nor recording at this time.