Willie Nelson put a scare into us all after he cancelled a string of shows recently, but the good news is his health is improving, and the situation apparently was never as dire as it appeared on the surface.
Willie Nelson canceled shows at the Venetian Theater in Las Vegas on January 27th and 28th due to an undisclosed illness, and then canceled shows from February 6th thru the 8th at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California at the last minute. When Willie cancelled two additional shows at the Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita, AZ on February 10th, and the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque, NM February 11th, fans really began to be concerned.
But the word is Willie Nelson will make his scheduled appearance at the San Antonio Rodeo on Thursday, February 16th only a couple of hours from his home, while his previously-undisclosed illness is now being cited by Nelson’s publicist as “just a cold.” Cold or not, when you’re 83-years-old and are missing seven shows in a row, it’s a cause for concern for loving fans, but luckily the illness wasn’t severe, let alone life threatening.
That didn’t stop many viral sites from exploiting the news of Willie Nelson health scare though. We won’t link to the articles themselves, but websites such as GodFitting.com, which posted the headline, “Willie Nelson is Extremely Sick and May Be Nearing The End, Please Send Prayers,” and thepoliticalinsider.com which posted, “Tragic News About Willie Nelson Just Revealed, Please Pray,” are just some examples of websites that took advantage of the Willie Nelson health news. Whenever a news headline asks for prayers—especially when many or all of a site’s articles do—it’s more than likely sensationalized, and looking to exploit concerned fans on Facebook.
Willie Nelson recently announced his latest record, and his first record of original material in three years called God’s Problem Child to be released on on April 28th, the day before Willie turns 84. On the album is a song called “Still Not Dead” about the almost daily death hoaxes and sensationalized health scares viral content sites use to generate web clicks at the expense of Willie. Before liking or sharing such stories on social network, make sure to check the source of the information, and if it feels like it is sensationalized.
Willie Nelson is getting up there in age, and that keeps people concerned for his well being. Some day he may need the urgent prayers of fans. But until that day, it doesn’t do any good to mislead the public, and exploit a country music legend’s health for web traffic.