Merle Haggard has canceled more tour dates due to continuing health issues following his bout with double pneumonia late last year.
He was scheduled to tour alongside longtime friend Willie Nelson for a string of dates through April, but the lingering effects of his near-deadly illness have forced him to pull out of the trek.
“I want to thank my fans for their prayers and well wishes,” Haggard said in a statement. “I hope to be back on the road in May, but I’m taking it one day at a time.”
Back in December, the 78-year-old country legend was hospitalized and nearly died due to the illness. Since then, he’s been forced to cancel dozens of tour dates as he tries to juggle a busy performance schedule with rest and recovery.
“I’m really lucky to be alive,” Haggard told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I had a pain that went all the way around from my belly button all the way around to my back. I asked the doctor, ‘What was that pain?’ He said, ‘It was death.’”
Although many fans have voiced concern over the Hag’s refusal to stay off the touring circuit, don’t expect him to retire any time soon. In a recent interview with Garden & Gun, he explained that not even pleas from his family could convince him to stop performing for his fans.
“I can’t,” said Haggard. “I feel it’s a double-edged sword. It’s what keeps me alive and it’s what f**ks up my life.”
Merle Haggard’s Cancelled April Tour Dates:
April 7 – Cape Girardeau, MO @ Show Me Center United States
April 8 – Springfield, MO @ O’Reilly Event Center United States
April 9 – St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House United States
April 11 – Independence, MO @ Independence Events Center United States
April 12 – Park City, KS @ Hartman Arena United States
April 13 – Enid, OK @ Enid Event Center & Convention Hall United States
April 15 to April 17 @ New Braunfels, TX WhiteWater Amphitheatre