NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Porter Wagoner has lung cancer and remains hospitalized in serious condition, a publicist for the country singer said Sunday.
His Nashville publicist, Darlene Bieber, said she had no further information about his condition.
The 80-year-old singer in May celebrated his 50th year at the Grand Ole Opry, the long-running live country music show.
Wagoner, known for his rhinestone stage outfits, helped launch the career of Dolly Parton by hiring her as his duet partner in 1967.
Parton visited Wagoner in the hospital last week and pledged to sing with him again, Opry spokeswoman Jessie Schmidt had said Friday.
Wagoner's career took an upturn this year when he signed with ANTI-records, an eclectic Los Angeles label best known for alt-rock acts such as Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Neko Case. He and partner Marty Stuart released the album "Wagonmaster," earning Wagoner some of the best reviews of his career.
Wagoner was the opening act for the White Stripes at a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan this summer.
Wagoner was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002. He and Parton were the Country Music Association's duo of the year in 1970 and 1971, recording hits including "The Last Thing on My Mind."
His other hits include "Carroll County Accident," "A Satisfied Mind," "Company's Comin'," "Skid Row Joe," "Misery Loves Company" and a country version of "Green Green Grass of Home."
(This version CORRECTS the day the publicist spoke to Sunday, instead of Saturday.)
Wow-Seriously, I didn't know he was still alive.
I just spoke of him at work, last week.
People are shocked to hear that an african-american woman(myself)
grew up listening to him and Dolly Parton, in sunny CA as a youngster.
He still wears his hair the same!!
Bummer, sorry to hear that about him.
God bless you, Mr. Wagoner