Chris Stapleton Cancels Show Due to Illness, Highwomen Fill In

Chris Stapleton fans were disappointed on Friday (9-4) when hours before he was supposed to take the stage as the Friday night headliner at the three-day BottleRock Festival in Napa Valley, California, he canceled due to an undisclosed illness.

“It is with a heavy heart that I will be unable to perform tonight at the BottleRock Festival due to a non-COVID related illness,” a statement from the Stapleton camp read. “We sincerely apologize to the festival and the attending fans. Please know it isn’t a decision we made lightly and we thank you for your understanding. We are also grateful to the amazing Highwomen who, on a moment’s notice, have agreed to perform in our place. We are focused on getting well at home and hope to see you soon.”

Chris Stapleton had been the replacement Friday night headliner for Stevie Nicks, who cancelled all of her 2021 appearances on August 11th due to rising COVID cases stemming from the Delta variant.

The Highwomen were tapped as last-minute fill ins, though founding member Amanda Shires was unable to attend as she continues to recover from an emergency surgery. Fellow Highwomen members Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile were already on the BottleRock Festival lineup on Friday, along with G-Easy, Finneas, James Murphy, and Polo G, making it easy for them to slide into the headliner spot.

Songwriter Natalie Hemby—who has a new album Pins and Needles out October 8th—appeared in her regular spot in The Highwomen as well, and Brittney Spencer, who has recently been opening for Jason Isbell, filled in for Amanda Shires.

There is no word at the moment what illness caused Chris Stapleton to cancel. In 2017, Stapleton postponed eight shows for an undisclosed reason, later revealing a broken finger was the cause.

Stapleton’s next scheduled appearance is Summerfest at the American Family Insurance Ampitheater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 9th with Sheryl Crow.

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