Illness forces Kylie to cancel concerts

Pop princess Kylie Minogue has been forced to cancel two concerts after being diagnosed with a respiratory tract infection.

The singer has been forced to cancel the shows in Manchester but it is hoped she will have recovered enough to perform later in the week.

A spokesman for the Manchester Evening News arena (MEN), where Kylie was due to perform on her Showgirl Homecoming tour, said doctors had advised the Aussie star not to sing.

He said: "She has been diagnosed with a respiratory tract infection and the doctors have advised her not to perform in the near future."

It is hoped the five-day break would give the singer time to recover before her concerts scheduled in the city on Thursday and Friday.

He said fans who have tickets for the cancelled dates might not miss out because Kylie's representatives had not ruled out they could be rescheduled.

The 38-year-old had been due to perform six concerts in Manchester but was forced to pull out half way through the second show last night.

Her early departure was blamed on a bad bout of flu, which was said to have also hit several other members of her crew.

A spokesman has denied the health scare was linked to her battle with breast cancer, which caused a career hiatus before a comeback tour that began in Sydney, Australia, last November.

Kylie's management made a statement this evening confirming the concerts tomorrow and Tuesday would not take place.

It said the star had pulled out of last night’s show half way through because of a “moderately severe respiratory tract infection”.

Doctors had told the star she should “not perform in the immediate future”, which meant the next two shows would not go ahead, the statement said.

But it continued: “Promoters are hoping to reschedule at the earliest opportunity. We currently anticipate that Thursday and Friday night’s shows will not be affected.”

Kylie’s management then wished her a speedy recovery and said it hoped to be able to confirm her return to the stage soon.

Fans with tickets for the two cancelled gigs are advised to hang onto them until a decision is made about whether they will happen at a later date.

Last night was the first time Kylie has had to interrupt a live show during her lengthy career at the top of the charts.

The singer left the MEN Arena stage half way through the second of six performances of her Showgirl Homecoming show in the city.

Her spokesman has ruled out any link to the star’s recent battle with breast cancer, saying she caught flu after other members of the tour group became unwell.

In a statement on the MEN site, it said the tour party’s “worst fears” had come true when the singer herself fell ill.

She told fans just before the interval that she only had a cold and didn’t want to cancel the show because she had been looking forward to it for so long.

But the singer was forced to stop mid-concert and apologised to fans before cancelling the rest of the show, the statement said.

Fans in the audience had noticed she was suffering from a heavy cold, but one said she remained the “ultimate showgirl”.

Wayne Warby, of Blackburn, Lancashire, wrote on the MEN website: “What a triumphant return. Although you could tell Kylie was suffering from a sore throat, this didn’t dampen the mood or the performance one bit.”

The star is understood to be staying at the exclusive Malmaison Hotel near Manchester’s Piccadilly Station during her time in the city.

Staff on reception at the hotel today denied she was a guest but other people staying there had spotted the singer.

One man, who did not wish to be named, said: “I saw her here on Friday night and last night. She was with quite a few people. They looked like they could have been dancers.

“She did not look too ill but I don’t suppose I was looking too closely.”

Kylie began her career as an actress on the Australian soap Neighbours and has gone on to become one of the most famous pop performers in the world.

It was revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2005 and her Showgirl tour was cut short as she retired from public life to battle against the disease.

Kylie was later whisked away by car from her hotel in Manchester tonight.

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