Elvis Costello revealed that he was recently diagnosed with a “small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy” and canceled the final six dates of his ongoing European tour.
While the singer-songwriter began the summer trek after undergoing surgery, he wrote on his website that doctors urged him to nix the dates to avoid putting his “health at risk.”
“Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, ‘You should start playing the Lotto,'” Costello wrote. “He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery. I was elated and relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead.
“Post-surgical guidelines for such surgery, recommend three weeks to four weeks recovery, depending on whether you are returning to a desk job or an occupation that involves physical work or travel,” he continued. “It was impossible to judge how this advisory would line up with the demands on a traveling musician, playing 90-minute to two-hour-plus performances on a nightly basis, but by the time we reached the Edinburgh Playhouse, I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed.”
Costello thanked previous audiences for “bearing [him] up,” adding, “The spirit has been more than willing, 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.”
While he didn’t name the specific form of cancer, he confirmed that it affects males specifically. “Gentleman [sic], do talk to your friends – you’ll find you are not alone – 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.”
Costello ended his statement on a positive note, referencing a tentative October release date for his upcoming, “magnificent new record” with longtime backing band the Imposters. The singer previously announced a 2018 North American tour set to launch November 2nd in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Ticket holders for the shows – set for the U.K., Croatia, Austria, Norway and Sweden – are advised to seek refunds at the point of purchase.