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Merle Haggard illness prompts cancellation of 10 performances

September 16, 2010 | 11:57 am

Merle Haggard with dog 4-2010 
Merle Haggard has canceled 10 performances through the end of September after coming down with a chest infection, his spokeswoman said Thursday. That includes an appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” that the 73-year-old country music singer and songwriter had been slated to do on Tuesday.

The cancellations include dates in the South and on the East Coast. Haggard has returned to California and is consulting with his doctor about treatment. His spokeswoman said he is expected to recover in time to make a newly announced appearance with Kris Kristofferson on Oct. 23 for Neil Young’s annual Bridge School benefit concerts in Mountain View, Calif.

He’s also due at the White House in December to receive one of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, along with Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, choreographer Bill T. Jones and Broadway lyricist and composer Jerry Herman.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo of Merle Haggard and his dog, Fanny Mae, aboard his tour bus backstage at this year's Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times