Elvis Costello Cancels Tour Dates After Surgery For 'Very Aggressive' Cancer

The singer has scrapped the remaining stops on his European tour to recover.
Elvis Costello pictured at a film screening in 2017.
Elvis Costello pictured at a film screening in 2017.
Presley Ann via Getty Images

Singer Elvis Costello has canceled a slew of upcoming tour dates after revealing he underwent surgery for an “aggressive” form of cancer weeks ago.

Costello, 63, issued a statement on his personal website about the diagnosis and his post-surgery recovery. At first, he believed he would be able to continue his European summer tour uninterrupted.

“Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, ‘You should start playing the Lotto.’ He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery,” the British singer song-writer wrote.

But the expected three to four week recovery period proved insufficient given the demands of traveling musician who performs on a nightly basis. Before the announcement, Costello was on tour with his back-up band The Imposters across Europe with planned legs in the United States and Canada.

Under the counsel of his doctor, Costello has now decided to forgo the remaining European tour dates in order not to put his health at risk.

“I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed,” he added. “The spirit has been more than willing but 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 did not specify what kind of cancer precipitated the surgery, but he did issue some general advice to male fans about seeking medical attention.

“Gentleman, do talk to you 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.”

The “Alison” singer did leave his fans with some more positive news. Costello revealed that a new record with The Imposters is set to arrive in October and he has every intention of sharing it with the world on tour once he’s fully recovered.

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