On Sunday (Dec. 11), Ricardo Arjona disclosed his decision to halt touring due to persistent back issues and an impending surgical procedure.
In the Instagram announcement, 59-year-old Guatemalan artist declared the conclusion of his international Blanco y Negro: Volver tour after a performance in Santiago, Chile, though he refrained from explicitly labeling it as “retirement.”
He wrote in Spanish: “Thank you for making the impossible so easy. I thought I wasn’t up for taking a step yesterday afternoon and ended up doing a marathon on the longest makeshift catwalk of my life. Almost like my career was from the beginning. Today will be the last concert of BLANCO Y NEGRO. To all the cities that this tour of 159 concerts touched, my eternal thanks. To the doctors who put me on my feet to be able to finish this trip postponing an imminent surgery, thank you very much.”
According to Billboard Boxscore, Arjona grossed $155.1 million and sold two million tickets — he was No. 10 on Billboard‘s 2023 list of the top-grossing Latin artists of all time. The renowned artist is celebrated for his extensive 30-year career catalog of Latin pop ballads. He has placed 36 songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart, including five No. 1s, such as “Desnuda,” “Cuando,” and “El Problema.”
Arjona revealed undergoing “six spinal infiltrations” in the past two months to sustain his ability to stand during concerts and postpone surgery. Argona continued in the statement: “I will have to disappear to invent a motive that is greater than this one. If I don’t find it, I’d rather not come back. Life and people have been immensely generous to this Guatemalan from the barrio, a public school teacher, who by playing the guitar, adding a few words and trying a melody, achieved a miracle he never suspected.”
He continued, “I don’t agree with the industry. I’m too down-to-earth for this trip to the stars. They turned the bohemian and irresponsible boy into a defensive and isolated guy by dint of all the sticks I carried when I was starting out. I used up all my phoniness in my early career to survive in this smoky world, and after that, I only smiled at those I liked. I still think smiling unwillingly is bad for your health and there is so much of it around.”
“My family and friends are my guard and my happiness. I don’t lack anything, in fact, I have so many things to spare. To you who made the effort to make line, budget, or any other inconveniences to attend one of my concerts, my sincere thanks,” Arjona concluded.
The “Porque Es Tan Cruel el Amor” singer kicked off his Blanco y Negro tour last year, which included stops in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guatemala, the U.S., with a show at Madison Square Garden, and more. The tour was centered around his albums Blanco (2020) and Negro (2021).
Read his full statement here.