Chesnutt, 45, uses a wheelchair and is partially paralyzed from a car crash that he was involved in when he was 18.
Reports about Chesnutts health circulated on the Internet and were picked up by the New York Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Chesnutt has released more than a dozen albums, including two this year, At the Cut and Skitter on Take-Off, a live recording
His big break came about 20 years ago, when Michael Stipe of Athens-based R.E.M. began working with him and produced his first two albums.
Chesnutt started playing guitar and trumpet and writing songs at a young age, but had to completely retool his way of playing music after his injuries, according to the biography detailed on his Web site, www.vicchestnutt.com.
He is known for dark, gravely folk music that explored both physical and emotional pain and life in spite of them.
Chesnutt recently finished touring in support of his latest albums, according to a profile on his MySpace.com page. His last show was scheduled Dec. 5 in Austin, Texas.