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Kings of Leon cancel U.S. tour due to illness

by Brandy McDonnell Published: August 1, 2011
Kings of Leon (AP file)
Kings of Leon (AP file)

Grammy-winning rockers Kings of Leon, who have Oklahoma ties, have canceled their entire U.S. tour following a disastrous show Friday in Dallas. In the announcement on, the family band says that frontman Caleb Followill is suffering from “vocal issues” and exhaustion:

We are so sorry to say Kings of Leon are canceling their entire US tour due to Caleb Followill suffering from vocal issues and exhaustion. The band is devastated, but in order to give their fans the shows they deserve, they need to take this break. Unfortunately, the US dates cannot be rescheduled due to the band’s international tour schedule. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase. Tickets purchased online or via phones will be automatically refunded. The band will resume touring in Canada at the Rogers Center in Vancouver, BC, on September 28th. That show was originally schedule for September 14th.

On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that the band – brothers Caleb (vocals, guitar), Nathan (drums, vocals) and Jared (bass) Followill and first cousin Matthew Followill (lead guitar) – had promised a redo for Dallas fans after the lead singer left the stage mid-show and didn’t return. The band on Sunday announced plans to return to Dallas on Sept. 21 to make up for Friday’s mid-show cancellation, but now the group is saying it won’t resume touring until Sept. 28.

Nathan Followill apologized and reassured fans about the future of the band this afternoon on Twitter @doctorfollowill:

“Bummed about the tour not happening. So sorry 4 all the fans. We just need some rest. Thanks 4 understanding. WE ARE NOT BREAKING UP!”

During Friday’s show at Gexa Energy Pavilion, lead singer Caleb Followill repeatedly complained that it was too hot and that his voice was suffering because of it, reports the AP.

“My voice is completely 100 percent gone,” he said, according to the AP report.

After a few more songs, he announced to the audience: “I’m gonna go back stage for a second, I’m gonna vomit, I’m gonna drink a beer and I’m gonna come back out and play three more songs.”

But he never came back out, leaving the rest of the band to announce the abrupt end of the show to a booing audience. Sunday’s statement released by the band said Caleb “suffered from heat exhaustion and dehydration … causing his vocal chords to seize,” according to the AP.

The other members took to Twitter to apologize to fans and vent their frustrations.

“So sorry Dallas, your heat got the best of a few of us. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience of all this bull—-. We’ll be back soon,” Nathan Followill tweeted Friday

“Not so good morning 4 me today,” he posted on Twitter Saturday. “Ashamed & embarrassed by last night’s fiasco. Can’t apologize enough, utterly gutted. A million I’m sorrys.”

Jared Followill also tweeted an apology and indicated that more than just the record heatwave blanketing the Southwest was affecting the band.

“Dallas, I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am. There are internal sicknesses & problems that have needed to be addressed. No words,” he tweeted Friday @youngfollowill.

He added Saturday on Twitter, “I love our fans so much. I know you guys aren’t stupid. I can’t lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.”

Jared Followill again took to Twitter today to express his disappointment, apologies and joking reassurances.

“Utterly depressed. It’s completely out of my hands. Family has to come 1st. If bass solos & backing vocals were more popular, I’d be there,” he tweeted.

“Thanks to all my friends, family, & fans. I’m not going to stop working. I’m going to spend time writing songs and looking to the future.”

In another tweet, he wrote “Don’t jump to conclusions guys. We’re not breaking up. BRB (Be right back). Just got a text from Nathan….. Ummm…. Eesh. So about what I just said…….”

Quickly followed by, “Kidding! Kidding! Not breaking up.”

Brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill spent their childhood traveling the Bible Belt between Oklahoma and Tennessee with their itinerant Pentecostal preacher father, Leon. Despite their strict upbringing, they formed the rock band Kings of Leon in 1999 with their cousin, Matthew Followill.

Caleb and Jared were both born in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., while Nathan and Matthew were born in Oklahoma City. The band is now based in Tennessee, but the group received in spring the Rising Star Award from the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Their unusual upbringing and rise to musical stardom is the subject of the new documentary “Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon,” which premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival and opened Oklahoma City’s deadCenter Film Festival. The rock doc will premiere at 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 on Showtime and air repeatedly through the end of August on Showtime, Showtime Showcase and Sho 2.

The band has been touring in support of its fifth album, “Come Around Sundown,” released in fall 2010. It is the follow-up to the group’s breakout 2008 album “Only By the Night,” which spawned the smash singles “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody” and won the quartet four Grammys.

Kings of Leon played an April show at Tulsa’s BOK Center; no other Oklahoma shows were listed on the band’s 2011 tour schedule.


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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