Joshua Ray Walker Says He Has Colon Cancer, Shares Video With Fans


The country singer shared the health news with fans online, along with the performance of a new song titled ‘Thank You for Listening’

Joshua Ray Walker, the Texas country songwriter known for haunting ballads like “Voices” and “Canyon,” announced that he’s been diagnosed with colon cancer. In a social media post, Walker, 32, wrote that’ll be undergoing surgery in January.

Earlier this month, Walker performed a cover of Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You” with his band on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, but has canceled shows in recent weeks, including a pair last weekend. In the fall, he performed a full concert opening for the Killers in Reno while suffering from appendicitis and spent five days in the hospital afterward. Walker went on to release a live recording of the show, which he wryly titled I Opened for the Killers and All I Got Was Appendicitis.

Walker acknowledged that his health has affected his touring schedule in a lengthy message to fans. “I have been dealing with some health issues this year that have made my quality of life on the road and off pretty brutal lately. Even though my prognosis isn’t what I would have hoped for, it is a huge relief to have some answers and a course of action moving forward,” he wrote. “Basically, my doctors have found a localized cancer in my colon, and I will be undergoing surgery to remove part of my colon on January 3rd. Luckily, we found it early, and it’s likely I’ll make a full recovery without further treatment. This is great news, but I will need to take a few months off after the surgery to recover.”


Along with his diagnosis, Walker told fans that he’ll be dropping the studio version of a new song at midnight called “Thank You for Listening.” He shared a performance video of the ballad on Thursday. “I’ve had the idea for ‘Thank You for Listening’ for a while now, but it has definitely been colored by what’s been happening in my life throughout the process of creating it. What started as a simple ‘thank you’ to my fans, ended up having a much deeper meaning, including my mortality, but this is in no way a goodbye,” he wrote. “I’m going to fight with everything I have.”

Walker has one of the most interesting voices in country. He told RS in 2020 that he picked up vocal stylings listening to Slim Whitman and Dwight Yoakam. “When I was really young I would listen to Slim Whitman and he did a lot of those big voice cracks where you use your head voice. And Dwight was kind of like the modern version of that. He really played with his voice a lot,” Walker said. “I thought that was cool, so I’m sure I mimic it here and there.”

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