Mick Jagger fought back tears as he dedicated his first gig since the death of The Rolling Stones legend Charlie Watts to the drummer.
The rocker showed his emotions as he paid a heartful tribute to the 80-year-old during the concert at the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts. The performance kicked off the band’s US tour on Monday night.
Mick, 78, shared a video of the speech to his Twitter account and had to pause several times as he honoured his bandmate in front of an adoring crowd.
He said: “It’s the first show of our 2021 tour, so this is it. I must say though, at this point, it’s a bit of a poignant night for us because it’s our first tour in 59 years that we’ve done without our lovely Charlie Watts. And we all miss Charlie so much.
“We miss him as a band, we miss him as a friend on and off the stage and we’ve got so many memories of Charlie – and I’m sure some of you who have seen us before have got memories of Charlie as well.
“I hope you will remember him like we do, so we’d like to dedicate this show to Charlie.”
Amid all the cheers from the crowd the singer then raised a bottle in the air and shouted: “To Charlie!”
Fellow bandmate Ronnie Wood then got involved, saying: “Charlie, we’re playing for you, man. We’re playing for you.”
And as the crowd continued paying their respects, frontman Mick continued: “What are we going to do now? Now I’m all emotional.”
Fans on social media were quick to pay their respects in the post’s comments section too.
One wrote: “We will never forget Our Drummer.”
Another penned: “What a beautiful tribute to Charlie Watts. He will always be alive hearts of every fan of The Rolling Stones and for his file.”
Charlie had pulled out of the band’s tour following a medical procedure, but news of his death shocked fans and the band alike.
Following his death, the band released a statement which said: “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.
“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.”
The band’s tour photographer Denis O’Regan revealed how Charlie – renowned as the glue that held the Stones together – was a father figure to his rock and roll pals Mick and Keith Richards.
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