Willie Nelson Cancels Remainder of His Tour Due to 'Breathing Problem'

Willie Nelson has canceled the remainder of his current tour, citing health problems. The 86-year-old revealed the news following his show in Toledo, Ohio, at the Huntington Center on Wednesday night.

(Photo: Twitter / Willie Nelson)

"I'm sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out," he wrote on social media, confirming, "I'll be back. Love, Willie."

As of Thursday morning, Nelson's tour dates were still active on the singer's website. No official announcement was posted to the site.

The Club Luck tour, featuring many opening dates from Alison Krauss, was set to run for 30 more shows, including one Friday, Aug. 9, at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was scheduled to wrap November 29th at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Nelson was also planning to play at the Farm Aid concert September 21st with Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Bonnie Raitt.

Nelson has dealt with several health issues over the past few years, with Rolling Stone reporting that he canceled his appearance at the Outlaw Music Festival due to illness, and was forced to cancel several tour dates earlier in 2018. In August 2017, he stopped a show in Salt Lake City after dealing with respiratory issues.

"I am sorry to have to cut the SLC show short tonight," he wrote on Twitter at the time. "The altitude got to me. I am feeling better now & headed for lower ground."

He also canceled several shows in early 2017.

In an episode of Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar on AXS TV, Nelson joked about being an octogenarian, as well as the questions that come along with it about when he will retire.

"I hear that every day," Nelson said. "They say it all the time. I say, 'This is my last tour. Every time I say, 'Oh, this is the last one.'"

Despite his recent health problems, he said he's learned to keep a positive attitude throughout the years.

“A negative thought will kill you. So if you’re even thinking negative you’ve got to change that first," Nelson told AARP. "It ain't easy, unless you think it's easy. Then you're in trouble. If you wake up knowing that this is going to be a hard day today because you've got work to do, people to talk to, things to do, you'll make it."

He said he's still notoriously determined when it comes to his career. "I don't really think that my attitude has changed. I don’t do what I don’t want to do, but if I want to do it, get out of the way because I’m going to do it!" Nelson said. "And I suggest everyone have an attitude similar.”

“It wouldn’t do any good to tell me anything because I was too stubborn to listen,” he continued. “And I knew that. We all go through periods when we feel like we have to follow our gut and do what we feel is right at the time when everybody else might think it’s dumb.”


Nelson's most recent album, Ride Me Back Home, dropped in June. Meanwhile, Nelson and Krauss are two of the special guests who will appear on Brantley Gilbert's upcoming Fire & Brimstone album, set to drop on October 4th.

Photo credit: Jason Davis / Stringer / Getty