Merle Haggard Nixes Live Shows Due to Illness

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach
Merle Haggard performs onstage during day one of 2015 Stagecoach, California's Country Music Festival, at The Empire Polo Club on April 24, 2015 in Indio, California. 

Country legend Merle Haggard has scrapped the remainder of his live schedule for the month of February due to ill health. 

Haggard has struggled with double pneumonia of late. The Country Music Hall of Famer canceled a performance just prior to taking the stage in Riverside, California on Tuesday (Feb. 2), informing his fans, “sadly I'm just not strong enough yet.”

Thank you to the fans who came out tonight in riverside! Sadly I'm just not strong enough yet. This man was praying behind my bus and made me realize how much you all care. Thank you so much.

Posted by Merle Haggard on Tuesday, 2 February 2016


“Merle is hopeful he will be back on the road later in the spring," Haggard’s reps explained in a statement, according to Rolling Stone

Haggard spoke with Billboard last year about his health battles. The Bakersfield legend had a lemon-sized cancerous tumor removed from his lung in November 2008. He underwent follow-up surgery last year to correct a side effect from the initial operation, and returned for a spell in hospital when he was slowed by double pneumonia in December.

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Should the veteran singer enjoy a swift return to full strength as hoped, his itinerary would restart with a date March 3 at State University, Ark. 

Health aside, Haggard has been in fine form. The veteran artist’s collaborative album with Willie Nelson, Django and Jimmie, opened and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 last year.