Rolling Stones pay emotional tribute to Charlie Watts as they return to stage

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Rolling Stones Pay Emotional Tribute To Charlie Watts As They Return To Stage
The Rolling Stones, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Mick Jagger paid an emotional tribute to late drummer Charlie Watts as the Rolling Stones returned to the stage for the first time since his death.

The musician died on August 24th in a London hospital at the age of 80.

The band said they would continue on with plans for their 13-date No Filter tour in the US, which was due to kick off in St Louis on September 26th.

Watts was not set to take part while he recovered from an unspecified medical procedure.

Jagger shared a video on Instagram of the band at a warm-up gig — reportedly at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, on September 20th — where he was joined by bandmates Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on stage as he told the cheering crowd: “It’s the first show of our 2021 tour, so this is it, this is a try-out.

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He then raised a bottle, shouting: “To Charlie!” before taking a swig.

Wood added: “Charlie, we’re praying for you, man, and playing for you.”

Pacing up and down the stage, Jagger appeared overcome as he said: “What are we going to do now, now I’m all emotional?”

Session and touring musician Steve Jordan was previously announced as Watts’ temporary replacement on drums.

Alongside frontman Jagger and guitarist Richards, Watts was among the longest-standing members of the Stones, which has seen a shifting line-up of musicians including Mick Taylor, Wood and Bill Wyman.

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