Queen guitarist Brian May has canceled all of his December tour dates, citing “a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will.”
May – who celebrated the all-clear from a 2014 prostate cancer scare with “a cup of tea” – hinted at the exact cause of his illness in a post on his personal website dated Oct. 15, when he wrote, “I’ve been battling against a very big black cloud in my personal sphere … which saps enthusiasm and energy and makes you feel everything is pointless.”
The star was due to play 11 ‘candlelight concerts’ in December alongside West End singer Kerry Ellis.
The shows – which were all taking place in the U.K. in the lead up to Christmas – have now been “postponed indefinitely” while the legendary rocker receives treatment for his as yet unknown affliction.
“I’m gutted to have to pull out – I hate letting our loyal fans down,” May wrote on a website statement issued Friday. “But the advice I have had is that I must take time off to heal, rather than go out on tour again and risk falling down on the job, which would be much worse.”
He added: “I am now at the point where I don’t feel confident to perform the scheduled shows to the standard we all expect.”
A post on his Twitter said simply, “So very sad to have to pull out – apologies to all. Bri”
Speaking about the sudden announcement, Ellis added that “Brian is a dear friend of mine and obviously his health must come first.”
“I know so many of you had bought tickets for an early Christmas treat, and I am truly sorry that we are letting so many of you down. But we will be back next year for sure, with new music for you all to hear,” continued Ellis.
As a consolation for their disappointed fans, a newly recorded studio album from May and Ellis, titled Anthems II, is scheduled for release in March 2017.