Singer Stevie Wonder is pausing his international tour this fall to undergo a kidney transplant.
The icon announced the news Saturday, July 6, while he performed in England at the 2019 British Summer Time Hyde Park music festival.
“So what’s gonna happen is this: I’m going to have surgery. I’m going to have a kidney transplant in September of this year,” Wonder said to audible gasps, which turned into cheers.
Assuring the crowd that he’s “all good,” Wonder added he has a donor lined up and wanted to thank the attendees “for your love.” The “Superstitious” singer also noted he wanted to get ahead of any rumors that may crop up about his health.
“Ain’t gotta hear no rumors about nothing,” he says. “I told you what’s up. I’m good, all right?”
Wonder, 69, also said he would do three more concerts and then take a break from the global performance schedule that next has him scheduled to hit 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, before coming to the U.S. for a series of shows.
Fans have responded online by expressing hope that Wonder has a great recovery from the transplant procedure.
“My childhood favorite male artist. You’ve taken care of us for so many years, take care of you now sir.”
“Peace n Blessings…🎈🎈🎈”
“100% praying for your speedy and full recovery, @StevieWonder… For more than half a century, you’ve relentlessly proven you are #TheIndispensableMusician.”
The 25-time Grammy winner’s health has been under a microscope of sorts as of late. In June, Philadelphia radio personality Patty Jackson said in a YouTube video that Wonder was undergoing dialysis. But her claim has not been confirmed.
“Prayers going out to singer Stevie Wonder… He’s currently on dialysis, hoping that one of his children will give him a kidney,” she said, citing sources.
The Detroit Free Press cited sources in a July 3 report that Wonder is “battling a serious but manageable health issue as he continues to perform and make music.”
An unnamed friend told the newspaper the famed Motown artist is “doing better now than he was a couple of months ago,” which came before Wonder trekked to Europe for a set of shows. The same pal said Wonder has been making the rounds with a medical team.
Musician Joan Belgrave, a longtime friend of the star, informed the publication of Wonder’s desire to limit any hullabaloo about his health concerns.
“He’s got some health challenges, but he doesn’t want a big PR thing out of this,” said Belgrave, whose late husband is jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, who met Wonder when the now-world famous crooner was a rising teenage star on Motown Records. “He knows what he has to do to get himself together, and he’s doing it. He’s got a team around him — that’s what he needs. He’s got people around him who love him.”