Megadeth singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine, who famously began his career as a member of Metallica, has been diagnosed with throat cancer. In a statement released Monday, Mustaine, 57, said that his diagnosis is “clearly something to be respected and faced head on — but I’ve faced obstacles before. I’m working closely with my doctors, and we’ve mapped out a treatment plan which they feel has a 90 percent success rate. Treatment has already begun.”
Megadeth had a full slate of summer touring to celebrate the band’s 35th anniversary, including the annual Megacruise in October. In his statement on Megadeth.com, Mustaine noted, “Unfortunately, this requires that we cancel most shows this year. The 2019 Megacruise will happen, and the band will be a part of it in some form. All up-to-date information will be at megadeth.com as we get it. Megadeth will be back on the road ASAP.”
Mustaine, born in La Mesa, California, joined Metallica as lead guitarist in 1981. He was ousted from the band before they recorded “Kill ‘Em All” in 1983. He formed Megadeth in 1984 with bassist Dave Ellefson, who remains in the lineup to this day.
Megadeth has released 15 records, starting with 1985’s “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!” The band’s most well-known songs include 1990’s “Hangar 18,” 1992’s “Symphony of Destruction” from the band’s most successful album, the platinum-selling “Countdown to Extinction,” and “Peace Sells” from the album “Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?,” which is regarded as a thrash metal classic.
Mustaine and his wife Pamela have two children, son Justis, 27, who is a guitarist and artist manager, and daughter Electra, 21, who is a pop singer. Mustaine’s statement about his cancer diagnosis also indicated that the band is in the studio working on the followup album to 2016’s “Dystopia,” the album that earned the band its first Grammy win (for best metal performance) after 11 nominations. He concluded by thanking his whole team: “family, doctors, band members, trainers, and more,” signing off with “see you soon.”