Charlie Watts' Rolling Stones Bandmates Pay Tribute on His Birthday: 'We Miss You'

The Rolling Stones drummer would have turned 81 on June 2

The Rolling Stones are paying tribute to their late drummer Charlie Watts on what would have been his 81st birthday.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood each shared a personal tribute to Watts on Thursday, 10 months after the rocker died at age 80 following an undisclosed illness.

Jagger, 78, shared a black-and-white photo taken in Dallas in 1981 to his social media channels that featured him giving Watts a hug as he sat behind his legendary drum kit.

"Happy birthday Charlie," the frontman wrote. "We miss you."

Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger/Instagram/Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty

Wood, who celebrated his 75th birthday on Wednesday, remembered his "Gemini twin" with a series of three photos, including two smiling portraits of the former bandmates, and a painting of a pensive Watts.

"Remembering my dear Charlie, my Gemini twin, on his birthday today," Wood captioned his post. "I miss you."

Richards, meanwhile, shared a recent photo of him and Watts sharing a funny moment together to his Instagram.

"Happy Birthday , Charlie Watts!! Miss You!" the guitarist, 78, wrote.

Watts' birthday comes one day after the Rolling Stones kicked off their Sixty anniversary tour in Madrid, with Steve Jordan on the drums in his place.

In tribute, Watts' longtime drum tech Don McAulay made a point of placing his drum key in the same place Watts used to.

"Don McAulay - Charlie Watt's drum tech for ten years pays tribute to Charlie for his birthday, placing his drum key where Charlie always would before each show. Happy birthday Charlie, we miss you," the band wrote on Twitter, alongside a video of McAulay.

Jordan also took over drum duties this past fall on the group's long-delayed No Filter tour, which was their first ever without Watts.

The surviving Stones have spoken openly about the pain of losing Watts, and Jagger even raised a drink to the drummer on stage in September as they played their first show without him.

"The thing he brought was this beautiful sense of swing and swerve that most bands wish they could have," the singer told Rolling Stone that month. "We had some really nice conversations in the last couple of years about how all this happened with the band. It's a huge loss to us all. It's very, very hard."

Richards, meanwhile, told CBS Sunday Morning in March that Watts' death had come "as quite a shock" to the rockers.

Keith Richards, Charlie watts, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones
Keith Richards, Charlie watts, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones. Dave J Hogan/Getty

"He had had a round with cancer a year or two before, and he'd beat that one. He just got hit with a double whammy," Richards said. "Bless his soul."

Luckily for fans, Watts' music lives on, as the Stones told the Los Angeles Times in October that they'd recorded new music with him on drums before his death.

"Let me put it this way," Richards said, "you haven't heard the last of Charlie Watts."

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