by Dan Reilly|Jul 24th 2010|Spinner|
Jazz singer Al Jarreau is in critical condition after collapsing before a festival gig Thursday night, Reuters reports. The 70-year-old is currently being treated in a French hospital for respiratory problems.
The incident occurred as Jarreau was prepping for a concert at a jazz festival in Barcelonnette, a town in southeast France. According to the AFP, the singer experienced a dangerously fast heartbeat, was treated for several hours at the venue and was then flown by helicopter to an intensive care unit at a hospital in the town of Gap.
“He was rushed to hospital … his condition is critical. He’s in intensive care,” said Maurice Marchetti, deputy head of the Gap hospital. “He is still conscious but slightly drowsy because of the medication and the breathing apparatus.”
In his long career, the Milwaukee-born Jarreau has had a number of hits in jazz and R&B. He won consecutive Best Jazz Vocal Performance Grammys in 1978 and 1979 for his albums ‘Look to the Rainbow‘ and ‘All Fly Home.’ In 1981, his album ‘Breakin’ Away‘ topped the R&B and Jazz charts and earned him a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, with the single ‘(Round, Round, Round) Blue Rondo a La Turk’ garnering him another Jazz Vocal Grammy as well. He won a Best Male R&B Vocal for his ‘Heaven and Earth’ LP in 1993, and brought home Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance — his sixth award — in 2007 for ‘God Bless the Child,’ an honor he shared with George Benson and Jill Scott.
Currently, Jarreau is scheduled for a handful of European and US dates for the rest of the year and early 2011. Doctors have yet to say if he’ll be able to perform at any of those shows.
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