Merle Haggard Resumes Touring Early After Canceling February Dates
Merle Haggard returned to the concert stage for the first time in several months at a show in Las Vegas over the weekend, less than a week after announcing he was canceling his entire live schedule for February.
The Los Angeles Times reports the 78-year-old country legend performed a show at Mandalay Bay Ballroom in Las Vegas on Saturday (Feb. 6), on a bill that included Toby Keith.
The performance came just days after Haggard canceled all of his planned February shows. “He is still feeling weak from his recent struggle with double pneumonia and has decided to seek further treatment for it,” his publicist said on Feb. 3.
Haggard postponed a series of shows in December, and was diagnosed with double pneumonia after checking himself into the hospital. His tour was originally slated to resume Jan. 30 in New Mexico, but he canceled those shows over concern about his lung capacity and the high elevation. He was also forced to cancel a show in Riverside, Calif. on Feb. 2 at the last minute after he was unable to make it to the stage, followed by the announcement that he would take all of February to recover further. But the indomitable entertainer defied expectations, and according to the Times, he's also slated to play other shows this week, including a concert in Beverly Hills on Thursday (Feb. 10) with Kris Kristofferson.
The country icon told Rolling Stone Country he was anxious to get back to touring, especially after his health scare made him realize how important it is.
“It becomes more precious, I think, as time goes by,” he states. “I had a double case of pneumonia about the size of grapefruit on each side. 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.'”
Haggard's entire upcoming tour schedule is available at his official website.
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