Barry Manilow is struggling to get back on his feet as he prepares for his concert tour following hip surgery, revealing handlers have to transport him to and from the stage in a wheelchair.
The Mandy hitmaker underwent a major operation in December (11) to treat inflammatory condition bursitis and repair torn muscles in his legs, and has been in and out of rehabilitation trying to regain his strength ever since.
Manilow was forced to axe a string of gigs in New York City in February (12) after failing to recuperate in time, but he was able to muster enough strength to return to the stage in Illinois earlier this month (Mar12).
However, the 69 year old admits the concerts were a real struggle.
He tells Rolling Stone, "I was able to get through six shows. As soon as I'd finish, the curtain would close and I'd fall back into a wheelchair and they'd wheel me back into a dressing room. I'm not ready to do this yet, but I did it. I got through it and I'm better than I was three weeks ago."
But the veteran crooner reveals he powered through it for the sake of his fans.
He adds, "I don't know how I got through those six (shows), but I just couldn't cancel it. These people were out there. They were so excited, I just had to go through this. They say when the spotlight hits you, you don't feel anything. I always thought that was full of s**t, (but) it's true."
And Manilow has set the record straight about exactly what kind of surgery he had done: "Everybody thinks I had some sort of a hip replacement; that wasn't it. I had ripped the muscles off my hip on both sides and they had to pull them back and nail them back into my hips. So that kind of surgery, which was supposed to take two hours, took seven hours. It was major surgery and it's a long recovery period."