Country legend Loretta Lynn has left fans and friends fearing for her health after uncharacteristically cancelling a string of shows.
The singer/songwriter, 74, rarely cancels concerts and so when she axed gigs in America last week (ends11Dec09), reports about her health started circulating.
And now sources tell U.S. tabloid the Globe that Lynn is fighting for her life after falling ill with a bad case of influenza.
One insider tells the publication, "Loretta has a long-term serious respiratory problem which only gets worse with age... She has to take a break during her shows to use her inhaler so she can carry on.
"Loretta's stubborn. She wanted to play the dates, but her doctors told her point-blank she needed to rest for weeks... Doctors have told Loretta for the last year or more she can't continue touring.
"But Loretta insists, 'You tell me I can't sing anymore, you might as well dig the hole and throw dirt on me.'"
Lynn still has big plans for 2010 - Johnny Cash's son John Carter Cash will produce Lynn's upcoming greatest hits album.