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'Health-related issues' force Lightfoot to cancel 2023 concerts

'We thank you for respecting his privacy as he continues to focus on his recovery,' says brief statement issued on his Facebook Page
Gordon Lightfoot treats the crowd to one of his iconic songs at the Mariposa Folk Festival after being inducted into the hall of fame on the Sunday night of last summer's event at Tudhope Park.

Orillia legend Gordon Lightfoot has cancelled his 2023 concert dates.

"The singer is currently experiencing some health-related issues and is unable to confirm rescheduled dates at this time," says a brief statement issued earlier today by Lightfoot on his Facebook Page.

"We thank you for respecting his privacy as he continues to focus on his recovery."

Lightfoot was born on Nov. 17, 1938 in Orillia and is often referred to as Canada's best songwriter.

As a youth, Lightfoot sang in the choir of Orillia's St. Paul's United Church. The boy soprano performed periodically on local Orillia radio stations, performed in local operettas and oratorios, and gained exposure through various Kiwanis music festivals.

Lightfoot has never stopped performing. He has been a fixture at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia and last summer he was inducted into the Mariposa Folk Foundation's Hall of Fame.

This is not the first time Lightfoot has been sidelined due to health issues. In September of 2002, in between sold-out concerts at the Orillia Opera House, Lightfoot suffered severe stomach pain and was airlifted to McMaster Medical Centre in Hamilton.

He underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured abdominal aneurysm and stayed in the ICU for several weeks. He was in a coma for six weeks and required four surgical operations.

Two months later, he was released and continued his recovery at home. All his 2002 concert dates were cancelled.

However, he made a full recovery and returned to live performances.

More recently, in 2021, he had a fall at his home that resulted in a fractured wrist.

According to his website, the 84-year-old had just one concert planned this year in Canada but had several dates planned in the U.S.

No other information has been released about his health-related issues.