Elvis Presley guitarist James Burton reveals kidney cancer diagnosis

James Burton
(Image credit: Jon Super/Redferns)

James Burton – a Nashville-based guitarist who has played alongside Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and many more – has been diagnosed with kidney cancer.

Revealing the diagnosis on social media on Friday (September 30), the 83-year-old said he’s due to have an operation today (October 3) at Nashville’s Vanderbilt Hospital, adding: “Even though I have a great team of doctors, I know God is in control.” He also asked his fans and followers to pray for his “total healing."

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.