Rolling Stones honour Charlie Watts as tour kicks off

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Charlie Watts was honoured by his Rolling Stones bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as they kicked off their U.S. tour on Sunday.

The rockers paid tribute to the late drummer, who passed away in August, when they performed at a small warm-up gig last week, and made sure to do so once again when their tour officially kicked off at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday.

According to reporters at Rolling Stone, a video montage of their late bandmate was broadcast in the stadium at the start of the set, and Jagger told the audience that he felt emotional watching it as he addressed Watts' death while holding hands with Richards at the front of the stage.

"I just want to say that it's quite emotional seeing those images of Charlie up on the screen," Jagger said. "This is our first tour that we've ever done without him. The reaction from you guys, everything you've said and we've heard from you, has been really touching... And I want to thank you very much for all your appreciation. We all miss Charlie so much, on the stage and off the stage, and we'd love to dedicate this tour to Charlie. Here's to you, Charlie!"

Besides the private warm-up gig last week, the Missouri show marked the first concert the band has done without Watts since he joined the group in 1963.

The musician had bowed out of the No Filter tour earlier this year, with him being replaced by Steve Jordan while he recovered from a medical procedure. He subsequently passed away on 24 August at the age of 80.

The tour continues in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday.

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