Brian Kennedy reveals he is battling cancer

Brian Kennedy
Brian Kennedy

Singer Brian Kennedy has revealed that he is battling cancer.

The much-loved Irish entertainer revealed today that he is suffering from rectal cancer.

The 49-year old took to the Matt Cooper Show on Today FM to share the devastating news.

"I have just started a journey with cancer, I'm afraid to say. It was a huge shock of course weirdly enough today is my 2nd week of treatment. It’s a milestone already even though it’s only 2 weeks," he said.

"I had radiation about three hours ago In Vincent’s hospital. What I have is called rectal cancer. As I said to my doctor, could I get a more embarrassing version of this disease? Cancer in my bum, really?

"I thought I was doing everything right. Actually, I am doing all the right things. Something was up. Last year, if I can be frank, I had some blood downstairs when I was going to the loo and I’m nearly 50. Things are changing.

"Fellas of my age, if you have even a grain of doubt, just get it checked."

Cooper said that he feels "incredibly lucky" that he caught the cancer early and is responding well to treatment.

"If the universe was giving anybody the ability to talk about having cancer up your bum, you chose well universe because I’m Brian Kennedy and I’m not afraid to talk about this stuff," he said.

Kennedy grew up on the infamous Falls Road, West Belfast at the height of the Troubles.

He said of his childhood: “I shouldn’t have become a singer really, given where and how my life started, but my voice had other plans and saved me in the end.”

He busked on the streets in Belfast and then moved to London at 18, living in illegal squats as he pursued his musical ambitions. He sang in underground stations in order to get money for food and save up to buy a guitar, and was eventually discovered by the Spice Girls' manager, Simon Fuller.

His career, which spans over two and a half decades, has seen him team up with Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker, among others.

The Belfast singer and former Voice Of Ireland judge is helping Today FM launch their Dare to Care fundraising campaign for the Irish Cancer Society.