Charlie Watts, 80, drops out of Rolling Stones U.S. tour due to surgery

Recovery from a medical procedure will keep Charlie Watts from joining the Rolling Stones U.S. tour this fall. (Photo: Andrew Benge/Redferns)

Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones, is recovering from surgery and is expected to sit out the band’s rescheduled No Filter tour this fall in the U.S. Mick Jagger and the band posted messages of support.

A spokesperson for Watts, 80, said in a statement that while an unspecified surgery was “completely successful,” the musician’s doctors “concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation.” With tour rehearsals to begin in a couple weeks, that’s not possible. “It’s disappointing to say the least, but also fair to say no one saw this coming.”

Watts added, “For once my timing has been a little off I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while.” 

The drummer previously underwent successful treatment for throat cancer in 2004. 

Steve Jordan, who has worked with Keith Richards on solo projects, will step in for Watts. The 13-date tour begins September 26th in St. Louis and wraps November 20th in Austin.

Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in London in 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor TPX)

Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in London in 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor TPX)

Watts’s bandmates — Jagger, Richards and Ronnie Wood — all posted messages of support. The band’s frontman, who underwent heart valve replacement surgery in 2019 and returned to the stage after two months, said they all “really look forward to welcoming Charlie back as soon as he is fully recovered.”

Wood shared a photo of Watts and said his friend and colleague told him, “‘The show must go on!'” However, “I’m really looking forward to Charlie getting back on stage with us as soon as he’s fully recovered.”

Richards said it is a “blow to all of us, to say the least.” He sent wishes for a “speedy recovery.”

The band announced in July the rescheduled dates for the US. The iconic British band has played more than 40 tours, including some of the highest-grossing tours of all time.

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