Blues legend Bb King had to cancel two shows after being admitted to hospital yesterday.

The 81-year-old walking institution was due to perform two gigs in Texas but had to cancel after developing a fever.

Although his illness is thought to be low-risk King was admitted to the University of Texas medical branch hospital in Galveston - just to be on the safe side.

"It looks like flu-like symptoms. We're just holding him for observation and rest," hospital spokesperson John Koleen told the Reuters news agency.

"He's in good condition, has a little fever. He's resting comfortably, and at this point we expect him to be released tomorrow."

His unscheduled sojourn in hospital has not dampened the spirits of the plucky octogenarian, however.

"He's doing great, he's in good spirits and cracking jokes," Tina France of management company Lieberman said of the singer-songwriter, who is hoping to play on Tuesday at Fort Worth.

King, who has released over 40 albums and countless singles, received the presidential medal of honour from US president George Bush in December. His most recent record, commemorating his 80th birthday, saw him collaborate with world-famous artists including Van Morrison, Sheryl Crow and Elton John.

27/01/2007 12:56:36