Merle Haggard Back in the Hospital Due to Pneumonia
Merle Haggard is still struggling to get healthy. The country icon is back in the hospital due to double pneumonia and has again been forced to cancel some upcoming shows.
According to the AP, Haggard's publicist released a statement on Tuesday (March 1) informing fans that the artist is postponing all of his March tour dates -- a total of 10 shows, including a two-night stand at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. A complete list of the shows is available on Haggard's website. He has checked into a California hospital for treatment, and doctors would like him to take one more month off the road.
Haggard has been battling double pneumonia since late last year. He first postponed some December tour dates after originally entering the hospital due to his bout of pneumonia, then canceled two concerts in New Mexico in late January as he continued to recover. After a last-minute cancellation on Feb. 2, Haggard made the decision to cancel all of his February tour dates as well.
"I'm really lucky to be alive," Haggard told Rolling Stone in February. "... I had a pain that went all the way around from my belly button all the way around to my back. I asked the doctor, 'What was that pain?' He said, 'It was death.'"
As it turns out, it was none other than Jackie Autry — the wife of the late Gene Autry — who talked Haggard into going to the hospital in the first place.
“We were up here doing a show, and I tried to go out, and I couldn’t do it,” he recalls. “And she talked me into coming into this hospital and getting some help …”
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