NEW YORK (AFP) - Blues legend B.B. King, who has pursued an improbably rigorous touring schedule at age 89, has cancelled his remaining shows after suffering from exhaustion.
King, often ranked as one of modern music's greatest guitarists, still plays some 100 shows a year but he stopped a performance in Chicago on Oct 3 and was diagnosed with dehydration and exhaustion.
The guitarist was resting and a representative said that he has cancelled all eight remaining shows scheduled this year "in order to fully recuperate."
He had been due to perform Sunday and Monday in New York at a club that bears his name.
"I'm back at home now listening to music, watching movies and enjoying some down time," King said in on his website.
"I think I'm busier at home now than on the road talking to friends calling to check up on me. I do appreciate everyone's calls and concern. I want to tell you, I'm doing alright," he said.
King grew upon a cotton plantation in Mississippi and worked on the fields from age seven after his father abandoned the family and his mother died.
But King began playing the guitar and eventually hitchhiked his way to Memphis, where he developed his style of rhythm and blues dominated by sharp single notes rather than guitar slides.
His became a mainstream sensation by the 1960s, opening for the Rolling Stones on the British superstars' US tour.
For decades, King still played more than 300 shows a year to acclaim. But the ageing guitarist's recent performances, which notably have featured long singalongs to "You Are My Sunshine," have drawn growing criticism.
His representative took the unusual step of apologising for an erratic April show in St. Louis that drew a critical review in the local St Louis Post-Dispatch, saying that King had been driven 24 hours from Las Vegas and forgotten to take his diabetes medication.