Legendary singer Andy Williams, best known for his version of "Moon River," has confirmed speculative reports that he has been stricken with a serious health condition.
The 83-year-old crooner revealed to fans at his Saturday night annual Christmas show in Branson, Mo. that he is battling bladder cancer, but is determined to beat it.
"I do have cancer of the bladder," Williams told the audience, according to Branson Tri-Lakes News. "But that is no longer a death sentence. People with cancer are getting through this thing. They're kicking it, and they're winning more and more every year. And I'm going to be one of them."
Williams thanked the crowd, who erupted in applause to show their support, and declared that he would recover and return to the stage next year, marking his 75th year in the entertainment industry.
"I'll be coming back here next year, in September and October," he said. "I'm going to do the shows I've planned to do."
This news comes just a few days after Moon River Theater reps announced Williams would be unable to perform during the holiday season because of an undisclosed medical condition, and after the National Enquirer published a report Friday saying Williams was battling bladder cancer.
Not one to let his fans down, Williams performed one song Saturday before exiting the stage, singing "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire."
Affectionately known as Mr. Christmas for his annual Christmas TV specials and numerous holiday albums, Williams has recorded 18 gold and three platinum albums throughout his career, as well as hosting the Emmy-winning variety television program, The Andy Williams Show.
We wish him the best in his recovery.