John Wetton will sit out ASIA's previously announced shows with JOURNEY to focus on his ongoing battle with cancer. He will be temporarily replaced by YES's Billy Sherwood for the March and April dates, which include an appearance on the Cruise To The Edge progressive rock cruise.
"I am disappointed to announce that, on the advice of my medical team, I have to withdraw from Cruise To The Edge, and from the first leg of the JOURNEY tour, March 15 – April 4," Wetton — who who has been fighting cancer since 2015 — said in a statement.
"I will soon be starting a new medical chemotherapy procedure, under which I will not be able to fly.
"I am grateful to the promoters of the cruise. I wish them pleasant sailing and I know my friends on the cruise, both artists and fans, will have a ball on the ocean wave, I will be with you all in spirit.
"My good friend Billy Sherwood will fill in for me within ASIA, keeping my seat warm during the initial 12 JOURNEY dates.
"While I am naturally disappointed to miss the beginning of what I know will be an historic ASIA tour, I am intending to return to the stage with ASIA later in 2017, dates soon to be announced.
"I know this decision will be in the best interests of my health and our fans, in the long run."
As a lead singer, bassist and songwriter, John Wetton initially rose to fame with KING CRIMSON and after that Wetton co-founded UK. In the early 1980s, he was the frontman of the super-group ASIA, his biggest commercial success. ASIA's self-titled debut album was the biggest selling album in the world in 1982.
He later formed the duo ICON with Geoff Downes (YES and THE BUGGLES) and has had a successful solo career releasing a large number of studio and live albums, including the compilation "The Studio Recordings Anthology".