Elton John, 70, has canceled a series of Las Vegas shows scheduled for April and May after failing “violently ill” due to a “potentially deadly” bacterial infection he contracted in South America this month. He suddenly fell ill on a flight back to the U.K. from Santiago, Chile, where he performed on April 10, and was rushed to intensive care ward for emergency treatment. He spent two nights in intensive care at a U.K. hospital while doctors battled the infection.
Sir Elton’s performance in Chile was the final of a six-concert tour that included performances in Brazil and Argentina, according to the Telegraph.
He reportedly returned home on Saturday, April 22, after staying at the hospital for 12 days. He is recuperating and expected to make a “full recovery.” He plans to return to the stage on June 6 after missing eight performances scheduled to take place from April 28 to May 6 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. But he is expected to perform at London’s Twickenham Stadium on June 3.
'Violently ill' Elton John cancels shows https://t.co/fS6H0YtXeR
— James Greid (@jamesgreid) April 25, 2017
Elton John cancels US shows after rare infection makes him ‘violently ill’ leaving him in intensive care https://t.co/VF2XhOVxPJ
— The Sun Showbiz (@TheSunShowbiz) April 24, 2017
“During a recent, successful tour of South America, Elton contracted a harmful and unusual bacterial infection,” a spokesperson for the 70-year-old star said, according to the Daily Mail.
“During his return flight home from Santiago, Chile he became violently ill,” the spokesperson continued. “Upon returning to the UK, Elton’s doctors admitted him to hospital, where he underwent immediate treatment to remove the infection”
“Infections of this nature are rare and potentially deadly… Elton’s medical team identified this quickly and treated it… He is expected to make a full and complete recovery.”
Sir Elton apologized to his fans and praised his doctors.
“I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologize for disappointing them,” he said in a statement. “I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well.”
Fans who bought tickets for the Las Vegas shows have been assured that they will get a full refund.
— PKGM (@PKGM) April 25, 2017
— BBC Derby (@BBCDerby) April 25, 2017
This is not the first time that Elton has been forced to cancel a show due to ill-health in the last few years. He canceled a major concert in London’s Hyde Park in July 2013 after he went for an emergency surgery for appendicitis. The star admitted in an interview with the Telegraph in 2013 that he dangerously delayed seeking medical attention because of his busy schedule at the time. When he finally sought treatment, he was shocked to learn that his pain was due to appendicitis.
“I knew I was sick but I didn’t know I had such a dangerous thing inside of me until I had a scan, which was after nine shows, 24 flights and a summer ball. I could have easily died,” he said.
Sir Elton John was hit by a "potentially deadly" infection which forced him to cancel some shows https://t.co/GTU3vvvFtG
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 25, 2017
— Achieve This (@AchieveThis) April 25, 2017
— Robert Woelfel (@RobertWoelfel75) April 25, 2017
He said the experience was a wake-up call. It made him realize that he was not growing younger at 66 and that he needed to spend less time on tours and more time with his young sons, Elijah and Zachary.
“This is a wake-up call. I’m 66 not 36 anymore,” he said. “I want to write another musical for Broadway and I want to spend more time with my children. I don’t have to tour. I don’t need the money. I just love playing.”
“When I had the operation, I said: ‘This has got to stop, this is crazy, why am I doing this?’… This appendix thing, it’s so lucky I didn’t die.”
He was also forced to postpone a concert at Dubai’s Autism Rocks Arena on December 15, 2016, due to ill health.
But despite recent reports that he was preparing to retire from a career spanning more than five decades to spend more time with his family, including his husband David Furnish and sons, Zachary and Elijah, Elton has continued to tour.
[Featured Image by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images]