LONDON (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones will perform two concerts in London and two near New York as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, the band announced on Monday.
The British group, one of rock'n'roll's most successful, will play the O2 Arena in the British capital on November 25 and 29 before crossing the Atlantic to perform at the Prudential Center, Newark, on December 13 and 15.
"Sorry to keep you all hanging around but the waiting is over," guitarist Keith Richards said in a statement, referring to months of rumors and gossip in the music press about an anniversary tour.
"I've always said the best place for rock and roll is on the stage and the same is true for the Stones," he added. "I'm here with Mick, Charlie and Ronnie and everything is rocking. See you very soon!"
Richards, fellow guitarist Ronnie Wood, lead singer Mick Jagger and drummer Charlie Watts will perform on a stage designed around the band's trademark tongue and lips logo, and organizers have promised a high-tech live experience.
The shows also mark the launch of a new music venture called Virgin Live combining the Virgin Group and Dainty Group, which is already one of the world's biggest live music promoters.
As part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, the Stones are releasing a new greatest hits album "GRRR!" on November 12/13 and later this week a new documentary charting the group's rise to superstardom will premiere at the London film festival.
The concerts are the first time the four Stones have performed together as a band since 2007, according to organizers. The band started out on July 12, 1962 at the Marquee Club in London's Oxford Street.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)