MICK Jagger fought back tears as he dedicated his return to stage to The Rolling Stones legend Charlie Watts.
Performing for the first time since the 80-year-old drummer’s sudden death last month, the rock star got emotional as he paid tribute.
The Rolling Stones performed a private gig at Gillette Stadium, Massachusetts, as they kicked off their US tour on Monday night.
Sharing a video from the event, Jagger was overcome as he honoured his bandmate in front of the intimate crowd.
Almost drowned out by cheers, 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.”
The star then raised a bottle, shouting: “To Charlie!”
Ronnie Wood chipped in, saying: “Charlie, we’re playing for you, man. We’re playing for you.”
Overcome, Mick added: “What are we going to do now…now I’m all emotional…”
Drummer Watts recently pulled out of the band’s upcoming US tour after a medical procedure.
They added: “Everyone in and around the band is truly devastated.”
Charlie, who died in a London hospital, was universally recognised as the Stones’ calm lynchpin.
In a statement the Stones 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.”