Singer Elvis Costello slammed reports that claimed he is struggling with cancer as false. The reports, he said, were sparked by a surgery he underwent earlier this year to remove a “small, but very aggressive” tumor and was forced to cancel his tour in July.
Costello, 63, denied the reports to the Daily Beast referring to an article that stated he was "in remission."
“I’m not going to critique other writers, because I had a very nice conversation with a young man the other day, and 99.9 percent of the article he wrote was really interesting, but he used the word ‘remission’ to describe my health, and therefore his editor decided to put cancer in the headline,” Costello said.
“I’m not in remission because I didn’t have cancer. How could I be in remission? I was relieved of something that may have caused cancer. So out of respect to my friends who recently have lost that particular fight, and to those that continue to have it, of which I have rather too many, I’d rather everyone get the words right,” he continued.
The singer underwent surgery in May and continued to perform but told the Daily Beast he may have “went out on the road too soon.”
’We’d played some sensational shows, but then one night I lost all my power in the middle of the show,” he explained. “I thought, ‘This isn’t right. It’s not right for the band. And the audience isn’t getting what I want to give them. I just need more time to get my strength back, that’s all.’ I then gave a statement because I didn’t want to make it seem like I was just irresponsible. I thought, ‘Well, maybe some good will come of this, and that other people will be lucky like me.’”
The “Allison” singer said many tabloids dramatically reported his tour cancellation.
“But unfortunately, that was not enough for tabloids in England,” he said. “They wanted to make a big drama out of it and suggest that I was dying. So next thing, I had to explain it to my 91-year-old mother, and I had to sit my boys down, who are 11, and speak to them about it."
The singer said he became angry when he saw headlines that stated he was struggling with cancer.
“So I’ll punch the next person that puts ‘He struggles with cancer.’ It makes me furious because it’s so disrespectful to somebody who’s really struggling,” he said. “Think about it for a second, it’s not a laughing matter. We all have friends who genuinely are frightened for their lives against a mortal illness. And they deserve our respect.”
Costello wrapped up the interview by saying we live in a world “where people would rather trade in melodrama than they would in fact” and life would go on if he ever decided to end his music career.
“The world will keep turning if I don’t make any more records, sing any more songs, record any more songs, or anything else. It’s just getting it in proportion. When it’s happening to you, yes, it’s upsetting but it didn’t affect anything about my judgment — except to make me grateful to do what I love to do, which is sing,” he said.