Keith Richards pays touching tribute to Charlie Watts as Rolling Stones announce first album in 18 years

Keith Richards

Keith Richards pays tribute to Charlie Watts as Rolling Stones announce new album

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 06/09/2023

- 15:00

Updated: 06/09/2023

- 15:27

The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died at the age of 80 back in 2021

Mick Jagger, 80, Keith Richards, 79, and Ronnie Wood, 76 have returned to the recording studio to put together their first album in almost two decades.

The trio joined talk show host Jimmy Fallon at the Hackney Empire in London to share details about new album, Hackney Diamonds, to thousands of adoring fans.

While the monumental announcement marked a huge milestone for the rock band, it was also the first time the group had made music without their drummer Charlie Watts.

Watts died aged 80 in August 2021 with Richards citing he had cancer previously.

Fallon was quick to ask the band what recording a new album was like without their long-serving colleague and pal during the discussion on Wednesday afternoon.

"It must feel different not having Charlie Watts in the studio with you playing," Fallon said. "What was that like?"

Charlie Watts (left)

Charlie Watts (left) with the band


Richards replied: "Ever since Charlie's gone it's different, of course, you know.

"He's number four, he's missing, he's up there. He's missed incredibly," Richards went on.

However, before his death, Watts had recommended the person he wanted to replace him once the band recorded new music.

Richards revealed: "It's thanks to Charlie Watts that we have Steve Jordan who was Charlie's recommendation should anything happen to him, Steve Jordan's your man."

"He picked Steve Jordan?" Fallon asked to which the band confirmed it was a choice made "way, way, way back".

Richards explained: "He's been a friend of ours, I've worked with Steve so it was natural progression.

"It would've been a lot harder without Charlie's blessing on that, you know."

While Jordan stepped in to help the band out, Watts' presence is still going to be felt on the album as Jagger revealed they were able to record a few tracks before his death.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones on stage at the Hackney Empire


Jagger opened the discussion on Wednesday afternoon as he revealed exactly when fans can expect the new music to be released.

He told the crowd: "Well we're here to present our new single which is called Angry and the video which is from our new album which is called Hackney Diamonds which is why we're in Hackney - it comes out on October 20!"

Applause and cheers filled the venue before the band took their seats alongside Fallon.

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