July 6 (UPI) -- British rock icon Elvis Costello said he is battling cancer and canceled the remaining six dates of his European concert tour.
"Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, 'You should start playing the Lotto.' He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery," Costello said in a statement posted on Facebook Friday.
The 63-year-old singer-songwriter added: "I was elated and relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead. Post-surgical guidelines for such surgery, recommend three weeks to four weeks recovery depending on whether you are returning to a desk job or an occupation that involves physical work or travel. It was impossible to judge how this advisory would line up with the demands on a traveling musician, playing 90-minute to 2-hour plus performances on a nightly basis but by the time we reached the Edinburgh Playhouse, I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed."
Costello further explained recuperation is taking longer than he expected and, so, he is following his doctor's orders and getting some rest.
"My apologies go to our ticket holders in Manchester, Pula, Graz, Vienna, Tysnes and Rattvik but I 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," he said.
A record he made with The Imposters is due out in October. He did not reveal its title.
Among his hit songs are "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding," "Watching the Detectives," "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Pump It Up." He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016.