Blake Shelton‘s father, Dick Shelton, died Tuesday evening in Oklahoma, surrounded by his loved ones, leading his grieving country-superstar son to cancel a number of tour dates.
“I appreciate your understanding during this difficult time and thank you for all your prayers. Your support means the world to me. I love you guys,” Shelton, 35, wrote on his website.
Dick Shelton had been in declining health over the past year, and was hospitalized with pneumonia in early December. On Dec. 5, in accepting his first of several trophies at the 2011 American Country Awards, The Voice judge thanked his father publicly.
“I want to say hi to my dad back home … he’s been having a pretty rough couple of weeks, and I know he’s watching tonight,” Shelton said. “I love you, Dad, and I dedicate this to you, man. Thank you.” Blake flew home to Oklahoma right after the ACA show to be with his family.
In the wake of his father’s death, Shelton is moving four concerts scheduled for this week – in Rapid City, S.D., Bismarck, N.D., and Billings and Bozeman, Mont. – to March. His tour resumes next Thursday in Columbus, Ga.
By Tim Nudd