Legendary singer Elvis Costello has been forced to cancel the final dates in his European tour as he recovers from surgery after battling a “very aggressive” cancer.
The 63-year-old singer, real name Declan Patrick MacManus, revealed he initially attempted to continue performing after his surgery, but following advice from his doctor, he’s had no choice but to rest up at home.
Sharing the news in a lengthy statement on his website, the ‘She’ singer said while his “spirit has been willing”, he’s unable to continue his busy schedule.
“Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, ‘You should start playing the Lotto’. He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery,” Costello wrote.
He explained that he felt “elated” that the tour would go ahead, and was determined to continue “playing 90-minute to 2-hour plus performances on a nightly basis”, despite post-surgical guidelines stating patients should take three to four weeks to recover.
Costello was initially “fooled” into thinking he could continue, but it wasn’t to last. He went on to thank his friends for “bearing him up” in Amsterdam this week and added: “The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength. Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour.”
His final six gigs were scheduled for Manchester, Pula, Graz, Vienna, Tysnes and Rattvik, and Costello advised all ticket holders to seek full refunds.
“Take very good care of your loved ones,” he concluded. “But gentleman, do talk to you friends – you’ll find you are not alone – seek your doctor’s advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters.
“It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette.”
In brighter news, Costello also took the opportunity to announce he and The Imposters have made “a magnificent new record of which we are truly proud”, to be released in October.
The hit singer has released 24 studio albums throughout his career, which first started in the 1970s, as well as several collaborations and songs for top movies including Notting Hill and Cold Mountain.