Willie Nelson Leaves Gig Abruptly, Cancels Shows

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Willie Nelson

Country and Americana music legend Willie Nelson still performs dozens of live gigs annually, and his signature song “On the Road Again” is all about the life he loves, “making music with my friends.”

But even the venerable 84-year-old icon is no match for illness and reports have circulated that, on Saturday night (Jan. 6), Nelson left the stage abruptly after singing just one song at Harrah’s Resort SoCal in Southern California. According to published recollections from fans in attendance, the singer began performing his customary opening number, “Whiskey River,” but was coughing and appeared to be having difficult breathing. He left the stage and did not return.

Nelson has since canceled three more dates he was scheduled to play this week, all in California and Nevada. His longtime publicist stated that Nelson had “a bad cold or the flu” and was headed back to his home in Texas to recuperate.

Related: Country great Merle Haggard died in 2016

Fans who purchased tickets to the aborted Harrah’s show will receive refunds. In a statement, the venue said, “Unfortunately, due to illness, Willie Nelson’s performance concluded early. The good news is we already refunded your money including fees (except UPS if applicable). It should post to your account within 7-10 business days.”

Nelson is next scheduled to perform in February in Georgia.

Last August Nelson also curtailed a show, this time in Salt Lake City, after suffering respiratory issues. He was hospitalized briefly after that incident.

“This is Willie,” he tweeted after that health problem. “I am sorry to have to cut the SLC show short tonight. The altitude got to me I am feeling better now & headed for lower ground.”

Nelson released two well-received albums in 2017: God’s Problem Child and Willie’s Stash Vol. 2, the latter a collaborative effort with his sons Lukas (leader of Promise of the Real, Neil Young’s current band) and Micah.

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Watch the video of Willie leaving the stage during his first song at Harrah’s

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  1. Vegas
    #1 Vegas 10 January, 2018, 05:49

    Hang in there willie….
    Youre still my hero

    Craig lembke
    Las vegas. Nv

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