Australian rocker Chris Bailey has confirmed he is battling cancer, just weeks after his The Angels bandmate Doc Neeson was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The bassist, who learned about his health crisis five months ago, has stepped down from the band to concentrate on his chemotherapy, and Sam Brewster, son of guitarist John Brewster, will fill in for him.
Details about the nature of Bailey's illness have not been revealed, but his bandmates paid tribute to his bravery in a statement posted on the group's official Facebook.com page.
The statement reads, "(We) are deeply saddened to learn that our bass player, Chris Bailey, has an aggressive, life-threatening cancer and is now undergoing palliative chemotherapy... John's son, Sam, has been playing bass with us for the past five months since Chris' illness began. Chris has been very helpful to Sam. The two have formed a good friendship and Sam will now continue with Chris' blessing."
The musicians also revealed plans to host a benefit concert in Adelaide, Australia to raise money for Bailey's family, adding, "We will announce, in the near future, a special benefit concert, most likely in Adelaide, to raise funds for a legacy for Chris' family."
The news comes just weeks after the band's frontman, Neeson, confirmed he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour over Christmas (12), prompting the group to scrap a number of shows.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.