Garth Brooks has opted to cancel the remainder of his nationwide stadium tour as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
It is not a decision he took lightly. Weeks ago the music icon announced that he would be closely monitoring the situation but, as things have not improved, he was forced to make a final call on Wednesday.
"In July, I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us," Brooks said in a statement, according to Variety. "Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part.”
Brooks did not rule out the possibility of scheduling new dates by the end of the year but reps said they would prefer to offer refunds rather than leave approximately 350,000 ticket holders for stadium gigs in five cities hanging. Shows that have been canceled are in Cincinnati; Charlotte, North Carolina; Baltimore; Foxborough, Massachusetts, and Nashville, Tennessee.
"I have asked the wonderful cities of Cincinnati and Charlotte to wait too long, and I don’t want to now do that same thing to the great folks in Boston and Baltimore," Brooks said.
"As far as Nashville, we are looking for a make up date from the July rain-out and though this is not COVID-related, to make them wait makes me sad, as well. So, it is with a heavy heart we announce the decision to cancel all five shows but with a hopeful heart, we will reschedule and start over when this wave seems to be behind us."
Brooks restarted touring in July and the "joy" he has seen in fan's faces as live music returns "has been more than worth our constant diligence to maintain safety protocols not only for the fans, but for our band, the crew and the hard working staff in these stadiums," he continued. "Their dedication to safety for the people who fill those seats has been a miracle to watch and a blessing to receive. I am truly grateful."
The statement comes shortly after Brooks' wife, Trisha Yearwood told People that he would not leave her side after she tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year. Brooks' own tests had come back negative but he was not prepared to let Yearwood battle the virus on her own.
"He would not stay away from me. I'm like, 'Dude, I cannot be responsible for giving Garth Brooks COVID,'" she said. "'You have to go quarantine on the other side of the house.'"
Although Yearwood pleaded with him to stay away from her and to go into quarantine, he refused.
"He would not do it. He was really worried about me," she continued. "But he never got sick and he was vaccinated. He took really good care of me, but he drove me crazy."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.