Pop legend Elton John was kept in intensive care before being released and has cancelled a series of gigs after falling ill with a serious infection.

The 70-year-old has cancelled shows at The Colosseum, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas until 6 May.

According to TMZ, John had a medical procedure several months ago and was advised by doctors to rest.

A statement from his management said that 'The Million Dollar Piano' shows for April and May as well as a show in Bakersfield, California have been cancelled.

It said: "During a recent, successful tour of South America, Elton contracted a harmful and unusual bacterial infection. During his return flight home from Santiago, Chile he became violently ill.

"Upon returning to the UK, Elton's doctors admitted him to hospital, where he underwent immediate treatment to remove the infection."

He spent two nights in intensive care followed by an extended stay in hospital before being released from hospital on Saturday (April 22) and will return to his schedule of live performances at Twickenham in west London on Saturday 3 June.

"Infections of this nature are rare and potentially deadly. John's medical team identified this quickly and treated it successfully. He is expected to make a full and complete recovery," the statement said.

"I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologise for disappointing them. I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well," John said in a statement.

In 2013, the Rocket Man singer suffered a health scare when he had an abscess on his appendix. "I'm lucky to be alive," he told The Sun. "I was a ticking time bomb. I guess I could have died at any time. I feel so lucky and so grateful to be alive."