Country star Garth Brooks is canceling his remaining stadium tour dates in five cities due to a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Brooks had said weeks ago that he would be reassessing the tour in light of the surge in cases. Tickets will be refunded for shows scheduled in Cincinnati; Charlotte, North Carolina; Baltimore; Foxborough, Massachusetts, and Nashville, Tennessee. He had also planned to play in Seattle but declined to put tickets on sale.
“In July, I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us,” Brooks said in a statement on Wednesday. “Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part.”
Brooks, one of the biggest selling entertainers in music, restarted touring in July and regularly performs in front of 60,000-70,000 people per stadium. Many of his shows sell out well in advance.
Brooks said he is hopeful that he can resume touring before the end of the year and reschedule those tour dates.
Brooks’ wife, country queen Trisha Yearwood, recently told PEOPLE (the TV Show!) that when she endured a bout with the novel illness, he never left her side even though her symptoms were “manageable.”
“I had what was considered a mild case and I think that’s why we had — we were lucky that COVID didn’t go into our lungs, but that’s probably also why we have more trouble here,” she explained. “It was just no joke.”
“[Brooks] would not stay away from me…” she added of the 59-year-old. “I’m like, ‘Dude, I cannot be responsible for giving Garth Brooks COVID.’”
“‘You have to go quarantine on the other side of the house,'” she said she told the country music star. “He would not do it. He was really worried about me.”
Added Yearwood: “But he never got sick and he was vaccinated. He took really good care of me, but he drove me crazy.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.