has canceled his current European tour following the diagnosis of a “a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy.”
The singer-songwriter made the announcement on his website and on Twitter Friday.
Costello received the diagnosis six weeks ago. “My specialist called me and said, ‘You should start playing the Lotto,’” Costello wrote. “He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery.”
After adhering to his doctor’s orders that he take three to four weeks to recover, Costello began his European tour, but was quickly forced to accept that he needed more time to recover.
On his doctor’s recommendations, Costello canceled his remaining scheduled European tour dates in Manchester, Pula, Graz, Vienna, Tysnes and Rattvik. The musician offered up his apologies to fans, but admitted that he “would rather disappoint our friends there by not appearing than in pressing on with a show that is compromised and eventually puts my health at risk.”
Costello did not specify the nature of his cancer, but he hinted to his male fans to keep an eye on their own health. “Gentlemen, do talk to your 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. It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette.”
In June, Costello announced a U.S. tour with The Imposters in support of a new album due out in October. As of now, that tour will continue as scheduled; find a full list of dates here.
Read the musician’s full statement here, and watch Costello and The Attractions perform “Radio, Radio”—the song that got him banned from SNL for 12 years—live circa 1978 below. Read our list of Costello’s best performances here.