Sir Elton John has been forced to cancel a headline performance in Hyde Park after being diagnosed with appendicitis.

The 66-year-old gay pop legend was due to play at a festival in Italy on Tuesday, as well as shows in Germany and London this week.

A spokesman confirmed Sir Elton would not return to performing until he had fully recovered from both the planned surgery and any damage caused by the appendix abscess.

“Elton is incredibly disappointed to postpone these tour dates,” his spokesman said.

“To know that he made such super-human efforts and continued to perform to thousands through his illness only confirms his dedication to his European fans.

“He is eager to be back on top form and return to play the remaining shows starting in early September 2013.”

Last week Sir Elton said he would have to cut down on his touring commitments once his two sons, Zachary, aged two, and five-month-old Elijah start school.

He currently performs as many as 120 shows each year.