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By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer Morrissey has cancelled the remainder of his U.S. tour for medical reasons, after suffering a number of ailments in recent months including a bleeding ulcer and double pneumonia, his spokeswoman said.
The former front man for the alternative rock band The Smiths has pulled out of the last 22 concerts on his itinerary, starting with one scheduled for Monday in Lawrence, Kansas, his publicist, Lauren Papapietro, said late on Friday.
"Despite his best efforts to try to continue touring, Morrissey has to take a hiatus and will not be able to continue on the rest of the tour," she said in a statement. "Morrissey thanks all of his fans for their well wishes and thoughts."
The cancelled shows include stops in Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Denver. The tour had been set to wrap up in San Francisco on April 30.
Morrissey, 53, already had cancelled 21 shows over the past year, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
The tour previously had been put on hold, with a number of concerts postponed, when he was hospitalized in late January in the Denver area with a bleeding ulcer. In recent months, he also has suffered damage to the lining of his oesophagus from stomach acid and double pneumonia, Papapietro said.
He had resumed the tour with a February 27 performance in San Diego followed by several more appearances before falling ill again.
Morrissey, who co-wrote The Smiths' 1985 song "Meat Is Murder," made vegetarianism a prominent part of his tour by asking that his March 1 concert at Staples Centre in Los Angeles be held with no sales of meat at the venue's outlets.
But Staples Centre arena operator Anschutz Entertainment Group declined the request and kept meat on the menu.
Morrissey, whose hits include "First of the Gang to Die" and "Irish Blood, English Heart," toured North America last fall and performed in Australia and New Zealand in December.
Ticket holders whose shows were cancelled in his latest U.S. tour can get refunds at the point of purchase, the singer's spokeswoman said.
(Editing by Steve Gorman and Xavier Briand)