Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson Announces Retirement, Cancels Shows

“Health and Safety” Concerns Cited for Singer’s Bowing Out

Without citing a specific cause, rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson has canceled her scheduled concerts and announced her retirement from performing.

A statement on her Instagram account says her decision to retire is “solely based on health and safety.” It adds that the 81-year-old singer will not be making her scheduled appearances in Las Vegas (April 20) or in Nashville (May 25).

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After over 60 years of touring, Wanda Jackson wishes to announce her retirement from performing. This retirement is solely based on health and safety. It has been a wild ride. Thank you all for all the years of continued fandom and support. This is not the end, just the beginning of a new chapter. Join us as we congratulate the Queen of Rockabilly on over six decades of rip roaring live performances, priceless stories and countless shimmies. All of this being said, Wanda will not be making appearances at either @Viva.las.vegas.vlv nor the @nashville_boogie. In true rockabilly spirit, please still go out to these shows and keep the spirit of rockabilly alive. #wandajackson #queenofrockabilly #firstladyofrocknroll #livemusic #performance #retirement #nextchapter #thankyounext #rockabilly #rocknroll : @emmaleephotographer

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A native of Maud, OK, Jackson has been making music for more than 60 years. She had her own radio show by the time she was 15 and while still in high school toured with Hank Thompson’s Brazos Valley Boys.

Her 1954 duet with Thompson’s sideman Billy Gray — “You Can’t Have My Love” — was her first single to chart. She joined the Ozark Jubilee after graduating from high school. Intermittently from 1954 through late 1955, she toured with Elvis Presley. She credits him with turning her toward a rockabilly sound and helping her find her “growl.”

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