Elvis Costello Scraps Tour Dates, Reveals Cancer Diagnosis

Elvis Costello has pulled the plug on the last six shows of his European tour due and revealed that he recently underwent cancer surgery.

The 63-year-old artist, who is married to Canadian singer Diana Krall, said in a statement that he had surgery in May to remove a “small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy.” He expected to be able to complete the tour as scheduled after three or four weeks of recovery.

“I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength,” Costello said. “Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour.”

The affected shows this month are in Manchester, Croatia, Austria, Norway and Sweden.

“I would rather disappoint our friends there by not appearing than in pressing on with a show that is compromised and eventually puts my health at risk,” the singer added.

While he did not specify the type of cancer he was diagnosed with, Costello urged men to talk to their friends. “You’ll find you are not alone – seek your doctor’s advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters,” he wrote. “It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette.”

Among those wishing Costello a full recovery is singer Billy Bragg, who tweeted: "Anyone who has seen Elvis Costello play will know he puts a huge amount of energy into his live shows, so it's understandable that he would cancel a few gigs to focus on recovering from cancer surgery. He's one of my musical heroes and I wish him well."

Costello said his new album with The Imposters, due in October, is “magnificent.” He recently announced a fall tour that will wrap up on Dec. 4 in Vancouver, where he and Krall have a home.