Willie Nelson left fans stunned Saturday night when he walked off the stage in Charlotte, before he played a single song. The country music legend cited an illness, and fans were told to hold on to their tickets for a future show.
Video from the Outlaw Music Festival shows the 85-year-old Nelson walking up to his guitar while the members of his band prepare for the show. Nelson put on his guitar strap and was about to attach his guitar to it. But as he did so, he put the instrument back down, and tossed his cowboy hat into the crowd. Then, walked behind the drum kit and into the venue's hallway.
Some witnesses told TMZ the video captured Nelson's second attempt to start the show. Earlier, he did the same thing. After Nelson's second attempt, the crowd waited for an hour until someone told them the concert was not happening.
A representative for the "On The Road Again" singer told TMZ Nelson had a "stomach bug" and will perform in Washington D.C. Sunday night. He also said Nelson plans to go back to Charlotte for his North Carolina fans.
“Due to illness, Willie Nelson was unable to play tonight at the Outlaw Music Festival at PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte. Fans are asked to please hold on to their tickets until the new date is announced," concert promoter LiveNation said in a statement, reports The Blast.
Nelson has frequently cancelled recent shows due to illness. He was forced to cancel his February shows because of the flu. In January, he stopped a San Diego show after one song and was forced to cancel California dates because of breathing issues that month.
However, to prove he is still doing well between these bouts with illnesses, his son, Lukas Nelson, posted a photo of his father kickboxing while resting in Maui on Feb. 11. He also released a new album, Last Man Standing, on April 27, two days before he turned 85.
Earlier this month, a rumor went around on social media that Nelson died, but it turned out to be false.
"We have said it before but always do your homework when you see any stories online. Willie is feeling great," his representatives wrote on Facebook on May 13. "On a similar note, Willie will never contact fans privately via ANY social media pages. Please report all messages."
Nelson's page also shared a video from Snopes.com, debunking rumors he is "seriously ill."
Nelson has been the subject of so many death hoaxes that he even wrote a song called "Still Not Dead" in 2017.