Hip problem cited as Ray Charles cancels concert

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 31, 2003

[7/30/03]A medical problem has forced music legend Ray Charles to cancel a planned concert date in Vicksburg.

His publicist said Tuesday that acute hip discomfort will postpone 14 concerts starting today and continuing about four weeks. Charles was scheduled to perform at Ameristar Hotel and Casino Aug. 10.

Kelly Jeffers, entertainment manager for Ameristar, said she did not know yet if the concert will be rescheduled.

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“We would certainly still love to have him come here to perform,” Jeffers said.

About 1,000 tickets had been sold for the outdoor performance. Tickets can be refunded by calling Ameristar’s gift shop at 638-1000 or, for purchases made online, call 1-888-223-6000.

“We wish Mr. Charles a speedy recovery, and reaffirm our commitment to bring quality headline entertainment to our community in the future,” said Ameristar General Manager Ray Neilsen.

Charles, 72, has had cartilage problems around the joint and was diagnosed and undergoing treatment in Los Angeles, spokesman Jerry Digney said Monday.

He would have been one of the biggest names in entertainment to perform here. Previously, casinos have brought Jay Leno, The Pointer Sisters, Charlie Daniels Band, The Doobie Brothers, Merle Haggard and George Jones. But Charles may be more widely popular than any of them.

The singer, who was 7 when he lost his sight, has won 13 Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. He also was one of the original inductees to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Charles is expected to resume his national tour beginning Aug. 22.

He has recorded several classic songs, including “I Got a Woman,” “What’d I Say” and “Georgia On My Mind.”