Willie Nelson’s Saturday night concert at Harrah’s Resort SoCal ended almost before it began.
The 84-year-old music legend had barely started his opening song, “Whiskey River,” before ending his performance abruptly, according to several people in attendance who contacted the Union-Tribune. He was coughing and apparently having difficulty breathing as he left the stage.
In response to a Monday Union-Tribune investigation, Nelson’s longtime publicist said the iconic singer-songwriter had either “a bad cold or the flu” and was returning home to Texas for to recover.
Nelson’s three shows scheduled for this week – tonight at the McCallum Theater in Palm Springs, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, and Sunday at the Edgewater Hotel Casino in Laughlin, Nevada – have been canceled, his rep said via E-mail.
Fans who purchased their tickets through Ticketmaster for his Saturday concert at Harrah’s will receive automatic refunds, according to an email from the ticketing agency.
It reads, in part: “Unfortunately, due to illness, Willie Nelson’s performance ended early. The good news is, we’ve already refunded your money including charges (except UPS where applicable). It should be posted to your account within 7-10 business days.
Strangely enough, in addition to Nelson’s illness, the Ticketmaster email also includes a “For Info” which reads: “This event has been canceled due to Hurricane Nate. “
Nelson has three concerts scheduled for February, starting with a February 7 show in Georgia.