LONDON (Reuters) -Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died in a London hospital surrounded by his family at the age of 80, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"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," the spokesperson said.

"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."

Born in London in 1941, Watts started playing drums in London's rhythm and blues clubs in the early 1960s, before agreeing to join forces with Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards in their fledgling group, the Rolling Stones, in January 1963.

Finding initial success in Britain and the United States with covers, the group achieved global fame with Jagger-Richards penned hits including "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Get Off of My Cloud" and "Paint It, Black", and the album "Aftermath".

Watts left the hell raising that defined the band in the sixties and seventies to the other members.

On stage he was also happy to leave the flamboyance to Jagger and the others while he anchored the performance with a sense of calm capability.

(Reporting by Kate Holton and Michael Holden)