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Willie Nelson Cuts Concert Short, Cancels More Shows Due to Breathing Issues

Willie Nelson for president
Jason Davis, Getty Images

Willie Nelson abruptly canceled a Saturday night (Jan. 6) concert shortly after it began and has now canceled a string of upcoming shows. A representative says the country icon is dealing with a health issue.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that shortly after he began performing his opening song, “Whiskey River,” during his Saturday night concert at Harrah’s Resort SoCal, Nelson walked offstage, allegedly coughing and experiencing difficulty breathing. Nelson’s publicist tells the Union-Tribune that Nelson is suffering from “a bad cold or the flu,” and that he would be going home to Texas to get well. Those with tickets to Nelson’s concert received automatic refunds.

Following the incident, the Union-Tribune reports, Nelson canceled an additional set of upcoming concerts: at Palm Desert, Calif.’s McCallum Theater on Monday (Jan. 8); at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nev., on Friday (Jan. 12) and Saturday (Jan. 13); and at Laughlin, Nev.’s Edgewater Hotel Casino on Sunday (Jan. 14). The news of those cancellations came from Nelson’s publicist, though all of the shows except for Monday’s are still listed as happening on Nelson’s official website.

In late 2016 and early 2017, Nelson was forced to cancel a string of tour dates due to an undisclosed illness. However, he remained healthy throughout the rest of the year, and his publicist shot down a March rumor that he was “deathly ill.”

Nelson’s next scheduled concert, per his website, is on Feb. 7 in Macon, Ga.

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