In a lengthy Instagram post, Solange Knowles has shared that she has been “quietly treating and working through an autonomic disorder” for the past five months.
“Wrote, deleted and re wrote this like 5 times…” she began the message. “However it’s so important to me for the people in South Africa, a place that has tremendous meaning to me and that has given me SO SO MUCH, to know why I won’t be performing at Afro Punk this NYE.” The singer was days away from performing with the likes of Anderson .Paak at the Afropunk Festival in Johannesburg but pulled out last minute due to her health. Autonomic disorders affect the proper function of major organs like the heart, intestines and bladder, though Knowles did not go into specifics about her condition, only describing the diagnosis as "complicated."
“It been a journey that hasn’t been easy on me... Sometimes I feel cool, and other times not so cool at all,” continued Knowles. “I’m still learning so much myself, but right now, my doctors are not clearing me for such an extended lengthy flight, and doing a rigorous show right after. I can’t put into words how saddened and sorry I am that I am unable to perform for you guys this NYE, there is simply no other place I wanted to be than there with my family to bring in 2018 with you.......”
The festival, which has its roots in Brooklyn, has been held in Paris and London in the past, but this was to be its first time in Africa. Knowles promised to return to the continent and perform with Afropunk in the future.
“[...] it is so extremely important to me to connect with the people who have so closely inspired me in so many ways,” she wrote. “I can’t thank Afro Punk enough for their support, and to all of the other festivals this past summer/fall who have known about my health, kept it confidential, and gone out of their way to make me feel supported while doing these shows.”
This year, while continuing to promote her latest record, A Seat at the Table, released in September of 2016, Knowles has been making the festival rounds, playing at a number of shows including at San Francisco’s Outside Lands, New York City’s Panorama Music Festival and London's Lovebox Festival, where she told the crowd: “I was in the hospital this morning. I was in the hospital for three days. After my show I had a serious episode and was told I shouldn't perform."
Forty eight hours later, she was on the stage at Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival. In order to make those shows, she had gotten"out of that b---h," she had said at the time of leaving the hospital. This time, however, she’s not taking any chances.
Knowles—who won her first Grammy this year for Best R&B Performance for “Cranes in the Sky”—shared: “As a part of the self care that I’ve tried to encourage this past year, it needs to start with myself, and I’m looking forward to doing a better job of this 2018. This past year has been one of the most fulfilling of my life... Performing this record and experiencing the energy exchange with you guys has been astounding, and I’m so excited about continuing to do the work I feel so absolutely humbled and appreciative to be doing next year. It gives me life.”