Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson Announces COVID-19 Diagnosis

Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson has revealed that has tested positive for the coronavirus, sharing the news with fans on Facebook on Tuesday, March 31. "Well folks, the bad news I've contracted the corona virus!!" he began.

"Been feeling tired for about 10 days!" Benson continued, writing that he went to be tested on March 21 but went home because there were no tests available. "Went back yesterday feelin the same tired out of it and they tested ... first call this mornin from lab sayin you got it!!" he wrote, adding that his symptoms differ from those generally linked to COVID-19. "Hoping for the best don't have the usual symptoms but feel tired head ache no fever no cough!! I'll be ok sure do miss playin music and seein everyone!"

The 69-year-old also offered a warning to his fans, writing, "Stay well this s—'s serious!! I have been alone for the most part and wore mask washed hands used hand sanitizer still got it!"

Benson is one of several country artists to have publicly announced that they contracted the virus. Kalie Shorr shared this week that she had tested positive, John Prine is currently in the hospital after showing symptoms and Joe Diffie died due to complications from the virus on Sunday. There are currently over 189,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and over 44,000 people have died from the disease worldwide.

Asleep at the Wheel is a Texas-based country group that has been active for 50 years with a rotating cast of musicians. The group has released 20 albums and won seven Grammy Awards and Benson is one of the band's founding members. He is also a founding member of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, a member of the board of directors of the SIMS Foundation, a trustee for the Texas chapter of NARAS, a board member of St David's Community Health Foundation and a board member and founding member of Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.

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In March, Asleep at the Wheel had postponed all of its April shows and is currently scheduled to play dates in May, though it's unclear whether those dates will go forward.

Photo Credit: Getty / Tim Mosenfelder