Heart Trouble Sidelines Wayne Newton
Thu Nov 15, 3:49 PM ET
Los Angeles (E! Online) - Wayne Newton's heart isn't into performing right now.
The famed Las Vegas entertainer told People this week that he has been forced to clear his schedule for the next few months while he undergoes treatment for a recurring case of cardiomyopathy, a viral infection of the heart.
Newton, 65, had to cancel a two-month engagement at Harrahs and he will not be able to perform on the Nov. 27 finale of Dancing with the Stars, though he should be doing well enough to make an appearance.
"This is just another little bump in the road," Newton, who lost 20-some pounds during his run on Dancing, said. "The doctors are a little more concerned than I am. Part of their concern is that I feel so good—I'm not taking this lightly."
While it's unclear what causes cardiomyopathy, a thickening or stiffening of the heart muscle that impairs the organ's ability to pump blood, untreated it could lead to congestive heart failure or pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs.
But Newton, who battled the disease once before after returning from a USO trip to Afghanistan in 2001, said that his doctor is confident that he'll be back in good health in about two months.
"I really want to apologize to the fans that were going to see me in those shows," the singer said. "I'm terribly apologetic. And for those who want to paint this situation with a black brush, they're not going to get their wish. I'm going to be fine."
And though he feels "awful" about being sidelined for the rest of the year, there are other, less exhausting ways to occupy the time.
Newton was scheduled to tape a segment for the upcoming TBS comedy special Ellen's Really Big Show on Thursday and he's still planning to perform on portions of Dancing with the Stars—The Tour, which kicks off Dec. 18 in Seattle.
Also scheduled to show up for at least some of the 37-city trek are premature castoff Sabrina Bryan, still-kickin' Marie Osmond, season two champ Drew Lachey, Joey Lawrence and Monique Coleman.