The Specials singer Neville Staple cancels tour after heart defect diagnosis

Neville Staple has cancelled his upcoming tour after his doctors told him he needed a “complete rest”.

The 68-year-old singer, best known for his work with the Coventry-formed ska scene band The Specials, said he was “devastated” to have made the decision.

An announcement to the Jamaica-born singer’s social media page on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday said he was diagnosed with a “serious” heart defect in December.

It also said: “Neville has been treated at three different hospitals and specialist have prescribed treatments and medications to try to control his symptoms, and thankfully things do seem to have stabilised.

“However, specialists have decided that Neville needs to take a complete rest from live performing and touring. Neville absolutely loves performing and is obviously devastated by this news.

“He had gigs and festivals lined up for 2024 and beyond, all of which will have to be cancelled. Neville knows that his fans and followers will understand the decision that has had to be made and he wants them to know that he is in the best possible hands with his medical team, wife and family.

“He thanks you all for your love and support over the years and hopes to see you soon. Neville hopes to still attend personal appearances for charities, etc but will not be performing live shows.”

Staple, also known for the bands Fun Boy Three and Special Beat, had tour dates listed as Neville Staple–From The Specials for next month at the Tivoli venue in Buckley, Wales, and Carlisle, Cumbria.

Known for their Rude boy outfits, The Specials had a number one with Too Much Too Young, and released the hits Gangsters, A Message To You Rudy/Nite Klub Ft Rico+ and Rat Race/Rude Boys Outa Jail.

In September 2018, Staple’s grandson Fidel Glasgow was stabbed during disorder outside a nightclub and died in hospital.

Coventry Coroner’s Court concluded with a narrative verdict saying it was “inconclusive” if the “stab wound was inflicted by a third party or by Fidel, or that it was accidental or that it was deliberate” after a review of CCTV footage of the 17-man melee.

Some of the men involved were convicted of violent disorder or possession of offensive weapons and jailed for their parts in the scenes in Hertford Place and streets near Coventry’s Club M venue.