Donnie Iris, whose 1981 single “Ah! Leah!” reached No. 29 on the Billboard charts, was forced to cancel his sold-out show later this month after being diagnosed with cancer.
The singer, born Dominic Ierace on Feb. 28, 1943, announced on Monday in a Facebook post that he will be unable to perform on June 21 in Youngstown, Ohio, on a bill that includes REO Speedwagon.
“He’s got the best care, and everyone is very optimistic for his full return to health,” the post stated. “He recently had surgery and his prognosis is good. But Donnie needs more time to heal.”
Iris will resume his regular schedule on July 24 at Blossom Music Center with Foreigner and Loverboy in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, WPXI-TV reported.
The western Pennsylvania native rose to national prominence in early 1970 as the lead singer of The Jaggerz with “The Rapper,” a song that peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Iris was listed under his birth name with the group, and the single anchored their second album, “We Went to Different Schools Together.”
Iris formed the band while attending college at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.
Later in the 1970s, Iris joined Ohio-based Wild Cherry, a funk-rock group noted for its 1976 hit song, “Play That Funky Music.”
His current group, Donnie Iris and The Cruisers, usually play a concert every other month, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Most of their shows have been held in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to the newspaper.
Levon will replace Donnie Iris and The Cruisers at the Youngstown show, according to WPXI.
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