Willie Nelson cancels tour performances after illness

Country music icon Willie Nelson announced Wednesday that he will not be performing at a scheduled tour stop in Virginia Beach, according to a message posted on the singer’s Facebook page.

The cancellation comes after Nelson, who turned 91 in April, canceled his first scheduled performances in his Outlaw Music Festival Tour because of illness last week. 

“We regret to inform you that Willie Nelson is not feeling well and, per doctor’s orders, has been advised to rest for the next four days,” according to a statement posted on social media June 21. “He is expected to make a quick recovery and join the Outlaw Music Festival tour next week.”

38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Show
Willie Nelson speaking at the 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony on Nov. 3, 2023, in New York City.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Outlaw Music Festival, founded in part by Nelson, kicked off in Georgia. That was among the performances the singer missed, citing doctor’s orders.

On Wednesday, the singer announced the latest cancellation. “Willie Nelson will not be performing at tonight’s show in Virginia Beach,” the Facebook post says. “We expect Willie to return to the tour shortly.” 

The lineup of the Outlaw Music Festival tour includes other big names who were still scheduled to perform Wednesday, including Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and Celisse. Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson, and his band composed of other family members will also play their own set, along with some of Nelson’s classics, the statement said. 

At 91, Nelson has been busy in recent years releasing new music, touring and collaborating with some of the biggest names in music. He released an album in May called “The Border,” had a couple of cameos in Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter” country album and, last year, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where he performed with Chris Stapleton, Sheryl Crow and Dave Matthews.

“I haven’t quit,” Nelson told “CBS Mornings” last year. “Maybe I should, but … after every tour. I said, this is it. And then get the urge again to go back.” 

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