With so many deaths in the country music world and beyond in 2016, it is no surprise that fans are on edge, especially when it comes to older artists. But despite the death rumors that swirled on social media Monday (5-23) about the passing of 76-year-old Outlaw country songwriting legend Billy Joe Shaver, he is still alive, despite currently residing in the hospital where he is recovering from an ongoing illness.
“He’s alive,” says Cary Baker, Billy Joe’s publicist. “He has indeed canceled tour dates for the rest of May, and part of early June. But he’s supposed to be back out there in late June. He is in the hospital, and I know there’s been rumors here and there. He’s an old guy, and he’s had hips replaced and knees replaced, but he’s alive and kicking.”
Jeremy Lynn Woodall, the guitarist and tour manager for Billy Joe Shaver also posted a message from Billy Joe amidst the death rumors on Monday.
“I was on my deathbed for two days. I came back to kick some more ass. Please stop calling my phone its ringing off the hook. See you on tour soon. Love you all.”
Earlier this month, Shaver had announced that he had to cancel some tour dates in late May, and then from June 2nd to June 18th, causing some concerned fans to fear the worst. Apparently that fear morphed into Facebook rumors of his death.
Born in Corsicana, TX and currently residing near Waco, Billy Joe Shaver became famous after Waylon Jennings cut an entire record of his songs called Honky Tonk Heroes in 1973. Since then, Billy Joe Shaver songs have been covered by countless country music artists over multiple generations, and he remains one of the most revered songwriters in country, and one of the last living links to the Outlaw era, especially after the recent passing of Guy Clark and Steve Young in 2016.