British singer-songwriter Elvis Costello announced on Friday he was cancelling the remainder of his European tour after revealing he had undergone surgery for cancer.
Costello, 63, whose hits include “Oliver’s Army”, “Everyday I write the Book” and “Alison”, said he had been forced to call off the final six dates of his tour which included concerts in Croatia, Austria, Norway and Sweden on medical grounds.
“Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, ‘You should start playing the Lotto’,” Costello said in a statement. “He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery.”
He said he had been elated that the tour could go ahead but did not realize the demands that playing long performances on a nightly basis would have on him as he recovered from the treatment. His doctor had now advised him to take a break and rest.
“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,” he said. “Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour.”
Costello, born Declan Patrick MacManus, rose to fame in the 1970s and has produced a string of influential albums since with his bands the Attractions and the Imposters. He said he would have a new record out in October.
“We will return at the soonest opportunity to play that music and your favorite songs that still make sense to us all,” he said.
Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Andy Bruce