This flu mess is so bad in Texas, even our country music icons are feeling it.
Willie Nelson reportedly had to cut short his concert in San Diego over the weekend, but one of his Fort Worth friends says he's on the mend.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Nelson never got through "Whiskey River" to open his set Saturday and experienced difficulty breathing as he walked off the stage at Harrah's Resort SoCal.
"He's got a bad cold or the flu," Nelson's publicist Elaine Shock told the Austin American Statesman on Tuesday. "He wasn't feeling well, and he decided it would be best just to go back to Maui," where the country music legend owns a ranch.
She clarified on Wednesday that Nelson was, in fact, dealing with the flu.
Longtime country music radio DJ and Fort Worth resident Bill Mack, who is a friend of Nelson's, said on Facebook late Tuesday night that he had spoken to the Red-Headed Stranger.
"He informed me he is feeling better!" Mack's Facebook post reads. "I told him just to lay back, relax and take it easy."
Nelson's remaining January shows have also been cancelled, and if tickets were purchased through Ticketmaster, automatic refunds are in process. His next show will be Feb. 7 in Macon, Ga.
Nelson last played Fort Worth in back-to-back shows on Nov. 10 and 11 at Billy Bob's Texas.
"In November he was great — incredibly robust. He just jumped up on stage. I dare any artist out there to endure the type of touring schedule Willie holds himself to," said Pam Minick, marketing director at Billy Bob's Texas. "With all the travel and all the people he meets, and with this flu going around, it's no surprise any artist would be subject to an illness."
This bout with the flu doesn't appear, then, to be as bad as the health issues Nelson faced nearly a year ago, when he had to call off a handful of shows with what he later confirmed was pneumonia.
Star-Telegram readers sent Willie well wishes from Fort Worth via Facebook Wednesday, though it doesn't appear even this flu strain can keep him from getting out on the road again for long.
"Hang in there, Willie, legalization is coming!" Michael Hathoot replied, on a post calling for get-well wishes for Willie.
"You have to get well, Willie! You're immortal!" Ann Carter Kirkpatrick said.
Nelson's next Texas tour dates are back-to-back shows on April 20 and 21 at New Braunfels' Whitewater Amphitheater.