Originally created 12/17/05

Lou Rawls says he is being treated for lung cancer



LOS ANGELES - Singer Lou Rawls is being treated for lung cancer, and his estranged wife said he also has brain cancer and suggested his condition is dire.

"Don't count me out, brother," Rawls said Thursday night from his room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "There's been many people who have been diagnosed with this kind of thing, and they're still jumpin' and pumpin'."

Rawls, in the interview with the Arizona Republic, said he has received alternative and traditional medical treatments for lung cancer. He said he quit his regular smoking habit 35 years ago.

The lung cancer was diagnosed a year ago and the brain cancer in May, his estranged wife, Nina, said during a marriage annulment hearing Thursday in Arizona.

"By his doctor's admission, he is not expected to live much more," she said. Rawls' attorney, Robert L. Schwartz, attended the annulment hearing, but did not discuss the singer's prognosis.

Rawls, who has lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., since 2003, said in court papers that he is trying to annul his two-year marriage and protect hundreds of thousands of dollars of assets that his wife "absconded with."

His estranged wife, who has worked as Rawls' manager since 2003, says she transferred nearly $350,000 into an account that she solely controls to prevent one of Rawls' two adult daughters from seizing the money.

Rawls, 70, has sold more than 40 million albums and won three Grammys during a career spanning more than four decades.

His voice has been described as "sweet as sugar, soft as velvet, strong as steel, smooth as butter." His hits include "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," "Dead End Street" and "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine."

He has also appeared on television shows and in movies, including "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Blues Brothers 2000."

His charitable work has included telethons that helped the United Negro College Fund raise nearly $200 million.