Ailing crooner Barry Manilow has been dealt a double blow as he struggles with bronchitis: He is also battling a bout of influenza.
The "Mandy" hit-maker was forced to scrap a string of his "Manilow on Broadway" shows last week, including the big opening on Thursday, after falling ill with the respiratory disease.
Apologizing to fans for the cancellations in a lengthy post on Facebook, he writes, "This has to be the worst experience of my life!
"The bronchitis that hit me turned into the flu that hit everyone in New York, and all my doctors could do was to give me stuff to make it a little easier to get through. In the end, they all said I'd just have to ride it out until it ran its course. I cannot apologize enough.
"As I was lying in bed, hacking, coughing, with chills and fever, I kept thinking of all the people whose plans had been ruined. I think the Jewish guilt I felt was even worse than the sickness itself! But, when I got enough strength to go online, instead of complaints (which people would be justified in writing), I found nothing but kindness and understanding. Which made me go for the Kleenex again. So, thank you to all for being so understanding about this nightmare."
Manilow reveals he's making promising progress in his recovery and is aiming to resume his Broadway residency at St. James Theatre as early as Tuesday.
He continues, "The GOOD NEWS is that I'm getting better! Everything is easing up and day-by-day I'm coming out of the dark. My voice is returning hour by hour and I'm feeling human again. I'm pretty sure I'll be ready to go on Tuesday night. (Unless I get hit by a truck!)
"So, I will be on that St. James stage on Tuesday night giving it my all and more grateful to all of you than I can ever express. ... All I can do is offer each of you my deepest thanks and hope that I'll see you at the St. James! All my love! Barry."
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