Willie Nelson cancels tour because of “a breathing problem”

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Willie Nelson has canceled the remainder of his current tour due to what he describes as "a breathing problem."

"To my fans, I’m sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out," Nelson posted in a brief message on his social media just after midnight.  "I’ll be back.  Love,  Willie."

The 86-year-old music legend had just finished playing a show at Toledo, Ohio's Huntington Center when the message was posted. 

Nelson's suffered from bouts of breathing problems over the years, including emphysema, and is well known for his unabashed love of smoking marijuana. Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in June, Nelson confessed to once smoking "two to three packs of cigarettes a day," and also admitted to having pneumonia "four or fives times, my lung collapsed, I almost died."  He said that's when he made the decision to switch from tobacco to marijuana, which he said "saved my life."

In 2015, Nelson underwent a stem cell operation intended to improve his breathing, though the outcome of that procedure isn't publicly known.

Nelson was next scheduled to play the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan Friday night.  His tour had dates scheduled all the way through November 29.

Willie also canceled tour dates early last year and in 2016, again citing breathing difficulties.


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