Stevie Wonder says he's getting a kidney transplant in fall

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018 file photo, Stevie Wonder performs live at the "House Full of Toys 22nd Annual Benefit Concert" press conference in Los Angeles. Wonder says he will be receiving a kidney transplant this fall. The 69-year-old music legend made the announcement to concertgoers in England on Saturday, July 6, 2019. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON — Stevie Wonder surprised concertgoers in London Saturday night by announcing that he will take a break from performing so that he can receive a kidney transplant this fall.

The 69-year-old music legend made the announcement after performing "Superstition" at the end of a packed British Summer Time concert in London's Hyde Park.

He said he was speaking out to quell rumors and sought to reassure fans that he would be okay.

"I'm going to be doing three shows then taking a break," he said. "I'm having surgery. I'm going to have a kidney transplant at the end of September this year."

He said a donor has been found and that he would be fine, drawing cheers from a devoted crowd of tens of thousands that stretched out from the stage as far as the eye could see.

"I came here to give you my love and to thank you for yours," he said. "You ain't gonna hear no rumors about us. I'm good."

He did not provide additional information about his kidney illness. There had been a recent report that Wonder was facing a serious health issue.

A representative for Wonder didn't immediately respond to a request Saturday for details about his health. He has kept an active schedule, including performing recently at a Los Angeles memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.

Wonder, who has received more than two-dozen Grammy Awards, has produced a string of hits over a long career that began when he was a youngster who performed as Little Stevie Wonder. His classic hits include "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and "Living for the City."

Wonder seemed in top form throughout the concert, performing a series of his hits and paying tribute to musical heroes including Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and John Lennon. He performed stirring rendition of the latter's "Imagine" near the end of the show.

He fans reveled in the warm summer night — though a light drizzle fell near the end — and the career-spanning retrospective that evoked Wonder's early days as a young Motown star.

He did seem less ebullient than in the past and made his health announcement in a somber tone with a severe look on his face. But he was smiling as he left the stage with the band playing the memorable conclusion of "Superstition" one final time.

___

Associated Press television writer Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed.

People also read these

Is NBC's prime-time Olympics due for a change?

Aug 12, 2016

For all the changes media and even Olympics coverage, NBC sticks to a time-honored formula for its...

Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in 'Star Wars,'...

Aug 13, 2016

Kenny Baker, the 3-foot 8-inch (1.1 meter) actor who played R2-D2 in the "Star Wars" films, has died

Gabby Douglas calls Twitter bullying 'really...

Aug 14, 2016

Gabby Douglas calls Twitter bullying 'really hurtful' as she leaves Olympic stage

Stellan Skarsgard proud of his sons for being...

Aug 15, 2016

Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard feels that his sons are talented actors, but it's more important to...

'Wire' actor Wendell Pierce loses Baton Rouge home

Aug 16, 2016

"The Wire" and "Treme" actor Wendell Pierce's home was destroyed by flooding in Baton Rouge,...

About Us

The World Insiders brings you exclusive coverage from across the globe in a timely, easy to consume format sourced directly from our regional media partners.

Contact us: sales[at]theworldinsiders.com

Subscribe Now!