Billy Joel made sure that Charlie Watts' legacy will keep on burning after his death.
Joel's Cincinnati concert became home to one of the most notable tributes for Watts. He made a partial cover of The Rolling Stones' 1971 hit single, "Brown Sugar," and told the crowd at Great American Ball Park that it was for Watts.
The tribute came before he performed "Big Shot" and a tribute version of "New York State of Mind" for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
His performance came perfectly before the world remembered the 20th anniversary of the tragic incident. Apart from Joel, several rock legends also remembered Watts in their tours and concerts, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Max Weinberg, Questlove, and Pete Townshead, among others.
Liam Gallagher also paid tribute to Watts during the Leeds Festival by performing "Live Forever." Lars Ulrich, on the other hand, said that the late drummer will always be the driving force of everyone.
"He could kick these songs and make them swing, make them swagger, still make them have that attitude, that pocket," he said, as quoted by NME. "Seeing him do that way deep into his [seventies] has been such a life-affirming thing."
The surviving members of The Rolling Stones shared a video of Watts days after his death. It included photos of clips of the drummer throughout their career.
Rest in Peace, Charlie Watts
Joel's performance made people remember what happened to Watts in the days leading to his death.
Weeks before passing away, the band's spokesperson released a statement, revealing that the musician underwent an entirely successful medical procedure.
"Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but I gather his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation," the spokesperson said, per Pitchfork. "With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it's very disappointing to say the least, but it's also fair to say no one saw this coming."
It did not mention what specific surgery he received. Instead of a recovery message, the band made a follow-up statement weeks after, saying that Watts died at the age of 80.
For what it's worth, though, Watts previously received treatments for his throat cancer in 2004. It remains unknown whether the procedure was related to that or something else.