Following doctors’ orders, Merle Haggard has canceled all of his April concerts. The 78-year-old country music legend is suffering from a recurring bout of double pneumonia.
This news follows the cancelations of several shows in March, as well, due to illness. Haggard admits his family wants him to stop touring, so that he can stay rested and healthy. But the road is an addiction he is just not willing to quit.
“I can’t,” he tells Garden and Gun magazine. “I feel it’s a double-edged sword. It’s what keeps me alive and it’s what fucks up my life. It’s hard to have a family, so I try and split it up. I try to build a life here of a reasonable sort, and then go and jump on the bus. . . It’s like the old saying: ‘You want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.'”
Haggard released a statement Wednesday thanking fans for their prayers and expressing optimism that he’ll resume touring in May.