Jimmy Barnes makes ‘highly anticipated return’ at Bluesfest Byron Bay after heart surgery

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Australian rockstar Jimmy Barnes has shared a huge update with fans less than two months after he underwent major surgery.

The Cold Chisel frontman, 67, underwent open heart surgery in December after contracting a bacterial infection that spread to a heart valve.

But the singer appears to be well and truly on the mend as he’s announced his “much anticipated return to touring” following his health scare.

“Every day I’m getting stronger. Every day I’m pushing myself a little bit further,” Barnes said in a statement.

“I’m excited about getting back on stage, in front of the band and playing for you all.”

Barnes will take the stage on Sunday March 31, on the penultimate night of Bluesfest Byron Bay, which runs from March 28 to April 1.

“What better way is there to kick it off than the legendary Bluesfest Byron Bay with a really special celebration of Flesh and Wood,” the singer added.

“I really want to thank everyone for their support and good wishes while I was ill. The family were passing on your messages of care and it really lifted my spirits.”

He also addressed the comeback in a video shared on social media, stating he was “very excited” to reunite with the band and “perform” again.

Barnes was forced to cancel a scheduled gig in New Caledonia last November after being admitted to hospital with bacterial pneumonia.

Treatment was commenced immediately however the Aussie star developed staphylococcal bacteraemia and became “very unwell”.

Further investigations showed that he had an abscess at an old operation site due to the staph infection which required surgical intervention.

Unfortunately, the staph infection continued to progress causing endocarditis, a life-threatening condition that without urgent treatment could have been fatal.

This affected his aortic valve, requiring urgent cardiac surgery to replace it, leaving fans worried for the fate of their favourite musician.

After the procedure, Barnes’ wife Jane confirmed he had made “good progress” and shared a touching photo with concerned fans.

“Jane here to update you about our Jimmy,” she wrote at the time, alongside a photo of Barnes smiling in his hospital bed.

“Good progress today in ICU. Some massive tubes have come out and first physio visit.

“Clearing lungs and deep breathing, we know he’s good at that!

“Our family thanks each and everyone for your well wishes, every single one counts so please keep them coming️.”

Barnes has promised his first show back will be “something extra special” with a unique performance over the Easter Long Weekend to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the Flesh and Wood album.

The band will later perform at rescheduled events in April before going on to a “stripped back, intimate, national regional theatre tour – Hell of a Time – set to take place through June, July and August, commencing in Western Australia on 12 June and finishing at the Sydney Opera House on 18 August.