B.B. King has been forced to cancel the remaining dates of his current tour.
The 89-year-old blues icon fell ill during a performance on Friday, October 3 at the House of Blues in Chicago. A statement on King’s official website confirms he was rushed to a doctor, who diagnosed him with dehydration and exhaustion.
No other details about Kings condition were ready to avail; but the remaining eight stops of his tour, including one at his own B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in New York City, were cancelled to give him time to recover.
This is King’s second health scare of 2014. The guitarist’s reps were forced to apologize after an erratic performance in St. Louis, MO led to heckling and early departures from the audience. A statement released by King’s reps following the botched performance said: “The combination of the rigors of the very long drive and high blood sugar due to his medication error resulted in a performance that did not match Mr. King’s usual standard of excellence.” King was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 1998.
After performing more than 10,000 concerts in a career spanning just over 66 years, King stands as one of the hardest working artists in the industry. Despite his ongoing health struggles, it was only in 2001, at the age of 75, that he made the conscious decision to start reducing the number of shows he performs every year from around 300 to 200.
Although that number has dropped further in the years since, he was still performing more shows than artists far younger than him. However, with this latest cancellation and perhaps for the first time in his entire career, B.B. King has no tour dates scheduled at all.
Guitarist Hamish Anderson, whose band was opening for King on this tour, tweeted his best wishes to king shortly after the performance:
Very sad to hear the news of BB Kings sickness and subsequent cancellation of the tour. The band and I wish him a safe speedy recovery!
— Hamish Anderson (@hamishkanderson) October 4, 2014