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Musician back on the stage after battle with cancer

Bluegrass musician Phil Leadbetter is back on the stage after a four-year battle with cancer.
Phil Leadbetter

ID=22536919Bluegrass musician Phil Leadbetter is back on the stage after a four-year battle with cancer.

The Grammy-nominated Leadbetter, who was diagnosed in February of 2011 with Stage III Hodgkin's Lymphoma, performed Saturday evening as part of WDVX's World Class Bluegrass show in Maryville.

After he was diagnosed, Leadbetter had to give up his lifelong love of performing in order to undergo rigorous chemotherapy and a transplant. He wrote about his cancer story on his website, where he said his doctor "warned that this could totally take away all my ability to ever play again." It was then, he wrote, that he felt "blessed" to have had a 37-year career doing what he loves."

Related: Homegrown: Phil Leadbetter

It turns out he didn't have to leave the dobro behind forever. When he was cleared by his doctor on Jan. 5, the man who has shared the stage with musicians like Ricky Skaggs and Allison Krauss knew he needed to get back to his beloved stringed instrument.

Saturday's performance also functioned as the release show for his new album, "The Next Move," which was released late 2014. He said it's more than just another moment on the stage.

"This is also for me a celebration of life," Leadbetter said, "You know, getting to be with my friends and all that."

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