Stevie Wonder says he’ll undergo kidney surgery later this year, and plans to take a break from music.
The legendary singer made the announcement Saturday after performing “Superstition” at a packed concert in London’s Hyde Park.
“So what’s gonna happen is this, I’m going to have surgery. I’m going to have a kidney transplant in September of this year,” Wonder said in a video posted to Twitter by BBC correspondent Aleem Maqbool. “It’s all good. I’m all good. I have a donor. It’s all good.”
After first the crowd was stunned. Then fans began cheering loudly to offer the singer support.
“I want you to know, I came here to give you my love and to thank you for your love,” Wonder added while on stage at the British Summer Time concert. “You ain’t gonna get no rumors about nothing. I told you what’s up.”
The moment, this evening at Hyde Park, Stevie Wonder told us why he would be taking a break from performing…. pic.twitter.com/pwfjnczGKx
— Aleem Maqbool (@AleemMaqbool) July 6, 2019
The Motown icon’s announcement followed days of speculation about his health. The reports first surfaced on June 25, when a Philadelphia radio personality told listeners Wonder is suffering from kidney failure and had started dialysis.
Then on July 3, The Detroit Free Press posted a story saying Wonder is battling “a serious but manageable health issue,” and has been touring with a medical team.
When contacted earlier this week, a rep for the musician did not respond.
Wonder, 69, is a philanthropist, businessman and prolific performer. He’s known for such hits as “For Once in My Life,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” “Living for the City,” and “Isn’t She Lovely.”
The singer has remained active and recently performed at the Los Angeles memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.
Wonder, a 25-time Grammy winner, is next scheduled to perform in Dublin, Ireland on July 9.