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Rod Stewart devastated as he's forced to pull out of The Royal Variety Performance due to illness

The Maggie May hitmaker revealed the news just hours before the show

Hanna Fillingham

Rod Stewart has been forced to pull out of singing at The Royal Variety Performance just a few hours before the show, due to a throat infection. The singer shared the news in a lengthy statement on Instagram, admitting that he was "devastated" that he wouldn't be able to be there. He wrote: "Due to a throat infection and on strict doctor's orders I'm absolutely devastated to say I'm unable to perform at The Royal Variety Performance tonight, an amazing show which I love being part of. It's going to be a great evening with some fantastic talent and I'm very disappointed that I can't be there to give my support. Varitey4Charity."

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Rod Stewart has been forced to pull out of The Royal Variety Performance

The Royal Variety Performance will be attended by well-known faces including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The evening will be hosted by comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan and will include performances from the cast of Mary Poppins, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel, Robbie Williams, the cast of Come From Away, and a special collaboration by Emeli Sandé and Manchester’s Bee Vocal choir. Rod's health concern follows just two months after he opened up about his secret three-year battle with prostate cancer. The 74-year-old singer was diagnosed with the illness in February 2016 during a routine check-up, and opened up about his cancer fight during a fundraising event for the Prostate Project in Surrey in September. "No one knows this, but I thought this was about time I told everybody. I'm in the clear, now, simply because I caught it early. I have so many tests," he shared.

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Rod with his wife Penny Lancaster and their two children

In October, Rod's wife Penny Lancaster opened up about the impact his cancer diagnosis had on their family during an appearance on Loose Women. The mother-of-two broke down in tears as she explained why they kept the diagnosis a secret from the world for nearly three years. "It was our choice to come out [with the news], as it were. Rod was performing at a prostate cancer event with the Faces," she explained. "After a few songs he said, 'Hi everyone, thank you so much for coming and I have to just take this moment, I owe it to everyone, I'm a survivor.""

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The couple only shared the news with their older children first. "We told the older ones… It would be too much for them [the younger ones] to understand," explained Penny. "When daddy finally told everybody the good news, and to get the message out there for guys out there over 50 go and get the test, then we told the little ones."