Billy Joe Shaver in Recovery, Says ‘I Was on My Deathbed’
Billy Joe Shaver was forced to cancel several tour dates over the past few weeks due to a serious medical condition. While not much has been revealed about his illness, earlier this week Shaver shared an updated message with fans on his Facebook page to let them know that despite being close to death at one point, he is now doing okay.
"I was on my deathbed for two days," Shaver writes after rumors of his death circulated on Facebook earlier this week. "I came back to kick some more ass. Please stop calling my phone it's ringing off the hook. See you on tour soon. Love you all."
Shaver's publicist, Cary Baker confirms to Saving Country Music that "he's alive," adding, “He has indeed canceled tour dates for the rest of May, and part of early June. But he’s supposed to be back out there in late June. He is in the hospital, and I know there’s been rumors here and there. He’s an old guy, and he’s had hips replaced and knees replaced, but he’s alive and kicking.”
In April, Shaver performed with Eric Church in Las Vegas. Weeks later, he was forced to cancel all shows through June 3. "Details to come regarding the rescheduling of these dates. Again, thank you for understanding," a post on Facebook reads.
The 76-year-old country legend is still scheduled to perform at Willie Nelson's annual Fourth of July picnic this year in Austin, Texas. Held at Circuit of the Americas’ Austin360 Amphitheater, the concert will include two stages boasting more than 20 performers.
In addition to Shaver, this year’s bill includes sets from Brantley Gilbert, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson with Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, Asleep at the Wheel, Shakey Graves, Leon Russell, Ray Wylie Hubbard, David Allan Coe and Margo Price. Nelson & Family, Jamestown Revival, Cody Johnson, Johnny Bush, Paula Nelson, the Raelyn Nelson Band, Folk Uke, Dallas Wayne and Amber Digby will be performing at the venue, as well.