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How Foo Fighters paid VMAs homage to late Stones drummer Charlie Watts

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How Foo Fighters paid VMAs homage to late Stones drummer Charlie Watts

The Foo Fighters paid subtle homage to one of their rock forefathers during the band’s performance at the 2021 MTV VMAs at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center.

As the former drummer of Nirvana, it’s only fitting that Foo frontman Dave Grohl’s crew paid some form of tribute to Rolling Stones skinman Charlie Watts with a handwritten message on Taylor Hawkins drum kit: “Charlie R.I.P.”

Watts, the rock legend who pounded out the badass bottom line on classics such as “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Gimme Shelter,” died “peacefully” at 80 in the UK on Aug. 24.

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The Foo’s tribute to Watts was a non-verbal one — but it didn’t go unnoticed by fans on Twitter.

One fan declared the band a “class act” for pulling focus from their own classic catalog to honor a rock and roll legend who came before them.

“Nice little nod to the Rolling Stones drummer,” another fan pointed out in MTV’s YouTube comments. “RIP Charlie.”

The Foos cranked a trio of their hits — “Learn To Fly,” “Shame Shame” and “Everlong” — before accepting their Global Icon moon man award at the 40th anniversary ceremony.

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“We’d like to thank everyone past and present at MTV,” Grohl, 52, said, before invoking some the names of some original MTV News anchors and classic VJs that audience members might not have heard of in a while. “Kurt Loder, Tabitha Soren, J.J. Jackson, Matt Pinfield, Steve Isaacs,  Amy Finnerty … thank you all very much for this award. We’ll see you in 26 years.”

The Foo Fighters — who recently rechristened Madison Square Garden after more than a year of COVID-19-induced dormancy — marked the first-ever stateside recipients of the Global Icon award — it’s traditionally awarded at international MTV VMAs — which recognizes not only chart success but an enduring ability to “inspire and evolve,” MTV hyped in a press release.

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Previous Global Icon honorees include U2, Queen, Whitney Houston, Green Day and Eminem.

Meanwhile, the Foos are being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in October with an especially diverse batch of recording artists:  Turner, Carole King, Gil Scott-Heron, LL Cool J, The Go-Gos, Todd Rundgren and Jay-Z.

The Foo Fighters paid subtle homage to the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts during their performance Sunday at the 2021 MTV VMAs at Brooklyn's Barclay's Center.
The Foo Fighters paid subtle homage to the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts during their performance at the MTV VMAs at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center.
Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

How Foo Fighters paid VMAs homage to late Stones drummer Charlie Watts

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