Battling "a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy," Elvis Costello has "reluctantly" decided to cancel the final six dates on his summer tour of Europe.
Costello, 63, revealed that he had "a single surgery" earlier this year that had seemingly "defeated" the cancer that, though unspecified, appears to be related to the prostate. "Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, 'You should start playing the Lotto,'" he joked today in a statement on his website.
However, the projected three- to four-week recovery forecast has not panned out as hoped. "The spirit has been more than willing," said Costello, who performed last night in Amsterdam, "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."
"My apologies go to our ticket holders," he added, "but I would rather disappoint our friends [at the six remaining concert sites] by not appearing than press on with a show that is compromised and eventually puts my health at risk."
Costello and his band, the Imposters, launched the tour last month in support of "a magnificent new record" that will be released October 1.
The U.S. leg of the tour, dubbed "Look Now and Then…It's Elvis Costello & the Imposters," is scheduled to begin November 2 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the first of 20 dates in 33 days.
Costello concluded his statement with a health advisory aimed at men. "Gentlemen, do talk to your friends—you'll find you are not alone," he said, an apparent reference to prostate cancer. "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.
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