Is Charlie Watts OK? Rolling Stones star, 80, pulls out of American tour for emergency surgery

'With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to be without Charlie,' Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger said about Charlie Watts

                            Is Charlie Watts OK? Rolling Stones star, 80, pulls out of American tour for emergency surgery
Charlie Watts had battled throat cancer in 2004 (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Drummer Charlie Watts of Rolling Stones has reportedly undergone an emergency procedure following a health crisis. The 80-year-old legend was about to perform at the 13-date No Filter US Tour with his band. Unfortunately, he was forced to pull out of the American tour for "rest and recuperation" as per doctor's advice. The surgery was recommended following a routine appointment to check if Watts was fit for the tour. He was diagnosed with a problem that was reportedly eliminated with a successful procedure.

Presently, the No Filter US Tour will comprise the original Rolling Stones members Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood. Charlie Watts will be temporarily replaced by Steve Jordan, a hot session drummer, and friend of the band. The tour was already rescheduled before due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Watts is expected to rejoin the band in performances scheduled for later this year. The Rolling Stones hopes for him to join the band's mega 60th-anniversary celebrations in 2022 when they would be releasing their first original album in 17 years. Mick Jagger said, "We really look forward to welcoming Charlie back as soon as he is fully recovered."


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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts in 2018 (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

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Charlie Watts had battled with throat cancer in 2004 and recovered from the disease after successful treatment. He used to be a smoker but had quit way back in the 1980s. 

It has not been disclosed what was his present health issue that mandated an emergency surgery, but it has been revealed that the surgery was successful. Watts had clarified that he needs some time for complete recovery. "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," he said. 

He further added, "After all the disappointment with delays to the tour caused by Covid, I really don’t want the many Stones fans in the States who have been holding tickets to have another postponement or cancellation. I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me."

(L-R) Ronnie Wood, Sir Mick Jagger,  Charlie Watts, and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones performing in 2016 (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

A spokesperson for the Rolling Stones said, "With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to be without Charlie,” mentioning that he needs weeks to recover properly.  

Charlie Watts, who is often referred to as the 'coolest' Stone, joined the band way back in January 1963 and has performed in all of their studio albums. 

Meanwhile, Steve Jordan will join the band for their much-awaited gigs across 13 locations in the US. Jordan, 64, had collaborated with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards for decades, being a member of Richards' project 'X-Pensive Winos'. The Grammy-winning producer even had worked as a guest on the Rolling Stones' 1986 album 'Dirty Work'.

"It is an absolute honor and a privilege to be Charlie’s understudy and I am looking forward to rehearsing with Mick, Keith, and Ronnie. No one will be happier than me to give up my seat on the drum-riser as soon as Charlie tells me he is good to go," Jordan shared in a statement. 

Band frontman Sir Mick Jagger expressed his excitement last month about the tour, saying, "I’m so excited to get back on the stage again and want to thank everyone for their patience. See you soon!” Jagger himself underwent a heart procedure in 2019 while Ronnie Wood overcame small-cell cancer last year. Both of them have now been given all-clear from the doctors.