News Interative Australia - July 9, 2004

Cardiac surgery for Bowie

(Agence France-Presse - From correspondents in Berlin)

BRITISH pop legend David Bowie underwent heart surgery in Germany last month prompting him to cancel his European tour, it was reported today.

Bowie required medical treatment on June 26 after performing at a festival in the northwestern German town of Scheesel, reportedly for a pinched nerve in a shoulder.

But the Hamburger Morgenpost said the 57-year-old rocker had an acutely blocked artery requiring emergency surgery.

Chief cardiologist Karl-Heinz Kuck at St Georg Hospital in the northern city of Hamburg performed a so-called "stent" procedure with balloon angioplasty, in which a mesh-like metal device is placed into an artery at a site narrowed by plaque.

Bowie was able to leave the clinic early this week, the newspaper reported.

The singer cancelled 11 European concerts of his 10-month Reality world tour in late June after complaining of health problems.

Organisers of the French leg of the tour issued a statement saying that the performances were called off "due to the continuing pain and extreme discomfort from a trapped/pinched nerve in his shoulder and to prevent possible further injury".

It added that Bowie had "very reluctantly agreed" to act on medical advice.