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Mick Jagger says Charlie Watts ‘was the heartbeat’ for the Rolling Stones: ‘It’s strange being without him’

Mick Jagger spoke out about his beloved bandmate and pal Charlie Watts.

On Wednesday, Howard Stern noted how the Rolling Stones have kicked off their North American tour with a tribute to the late drummer during an interview with the front man. Watts passed away in August at age 80.

The shock jock described how the footage features Watts maintaining a steady beat.

“Charlie was the heartbeat for the band, and also a very steady personality,” Jagger responded, as quoted by Central Recorder on Thursday. “He was not to be perturbed. He was a very reliable person, wasn’t a diva – that’s the last thing you want in a drummer.”

ROLLING STONES DRUMMER CHARLIE WATTS DEAD AT 80

Jagger also praised Watts’ dry sense of humor, as well as their relationship outside of the band.

Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts onstage for the movie 'Let's Spend the Night Together' in 1981.

Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts onstage for the movie ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ in 1981.
((Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images))

“I miss Charlie because he had a great sense of humor and we also were, outside of the band, we used to hang out quite a lot and have interesting times,” the 78-year-old explained. “We liked sports, we’d go to football, we’d go to cricket games, and we had other interests apart from music.”

Jagger also shared how Watts has remained a prominent presence during the tour.

“Every time we get together now and rehearse, we say, ‘Oh, Charlie would say this, then he would do that,’” he explained.

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The star also revealed that Watts, who was forced to drop out the band’s upcoming tour before his death due to an undefined health issue, insisted that the group kept going without him.

“We did so many shows with him and so many tours and so many recording sessions, it’s strange being without him,” Jagger admitted. “And he said, when he was sick, he said, ‘You’ve gotta just carry on and do this tour. Don’t stop because of me.’ So we did.”

Charlie Watts, of the Rolling Stones, performs during a concert of the group's No Filter Europe Tour at U Arena in Nanterre, outside Paris, France, Oct. 22, 2017. 

Charlie Watts, of the Rolling Stones, performs during a concert of the group’s No Filter Europe Tour at U Arena in Nanterre, outside Paris, France, Oct. 22, 2017. 
(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Watts was an acclaimed jazz bandleader when he was stricken with throat cancer in 2004. He received extensive treatment and made a full recovery. His return to health allowed him to resume touring with both the Stones and his jazz band.

Watts is survived by his wife Shirley, sister Linda, daughter Seraphina and granddaughter Charlotte.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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