Merle Haggard Cancels February Tour Dates Over Health Concerns
Country legend Merle Haggard has canceled the remainder of his tour dates in February due to ongoing concerns with his health after a recent bout of pneumonia. The performances include a Feb. 3 show with Kris Kristofferson in Beverly Hills and five additional dates.
“He is still feeling weak from his recent struggle with double pneumonia and has decided to seek further treatment for it,” publicist Tresa Redburn says in a statement, according to CMT. “Merle is hopeful he will be back on the road later in the spring."
The news comes a day after Haggard canceled his Feb. 2 concert in Riverside, Calif., at the last minute, announcing to fans who’d already arrived via his fiddle player that the show would not be happening, even after the legend's son, Ben Haggard, had already played the opening set.
Haggard was hospitalized in December for double pneumonia, and ironically, Tuesday night's concert was intended to be a makeup show for dates missed when he was fighting the illness previously. Haggard posted a photo apologizing for having to cancel, saying “Thank you to the fans who came out tonight in Riverside! Sadly I’m just not strong enough yet."
The singer explained the severity of his illness to Rolling Stone Country when he was hospitalized.
“I had a double case of pneumonia about the size of grapefruit on each side,” he said. “I had a pain that went all the way around from my belly button all the way around to my back. I asked the doctor, ‘What was that pain?’ He said, ‘It was death.’”
Hopefully the 78-year-old icon will be feeling well enough to get back on stage again in a couple of months. He recently collaborated with the Eagles’ Don Henley on his new record Cass Country, and his duet album with Willie Nelson, Django and Jimmie, hit No. 1 last year.
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