Nelson denies illness rumours

Country icon Willie Nelson is trying to convince fans he is not seriously ill after cancelling a dozen concerts.

Country icon Willie Nelson is trying to convince fans he is not seriously ill after cancelling a dozen concerts.

The singer/songwriter, 74, insists he just needs a break from touring and is taking some time off.

"It doesn't seem unreasonable to need or want a couple of weeks off, especially when your life is planned a year in advance," said his publicist Elaine Schock.

Nelson will reschedule US dates later this month and in August.

Meanwhile, Nelson will be honoured as a BMI Icon at the performing rights organisation's invitation-only country awards gala in Nashville on November 6.

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