Flu grounds Thornton's Canadian music tour

Billy Bob Thornton's band the Boxmasters has had to cancel the remainder of its Canadian tour with Willie Nelson because one of the musicians has the flu, according to Nelson's website.

Billy Bob Thornton's band the Boxmasters has had to cancel the remainder of its Canadian tour with Willie Nelson because one of the musicians has the flu, according to Nelson's website.

Thornton, whose prickly interview with CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi became a viral video sensation and a global media story, and his band were scheduled to perform shows with Nelson in Montreal and London, Ont.

But Nelson's website said the band had to pull out because one band member and several of the crew have the flu. 

A publicist for the band later confirmed to CBC News that J.D. Andrew, a guitarist in the band, has come down with the flu.

The website said the Boxmasters will rejoin the tour on April 14 in Stamford, Conn., after they've had time to recover. 

The announcement comes a day after Thornton was booed while performing with his band in Toronto on Thursday night.

"It seems as if when I say something, it's in the news," he told the crowd at Massey Hall, referring to his bizarre interview.

The audience immediately began booing, according to media reports.

"Boo all you want," Thornton told the crowd, "but I want to say something. We're really happy to be here, but I need to say something. I talked to this asshole yesterday."

Thornton told the crowd he was upset after Ghomeshi introduced him as an "Oscar-winning screenwriter, actor and director."

He said CBC producers had previously assured him that his movie career would not be mentioned during the interview.

During the interview on Q, he was belligerent, swore and said performing for Canadian audiences was like "mashed potatoes with no gravy" because they are more reserved and less raucous than American audiences.

Before his performance Thursday, Thornton told reporters that he loved Canada and his mash potatoes comment was directed at the radio host, not Canadian audiences.

YouTube video goes viral

During Wednesday's radio show, Thornton refused to answer many questions directly.

When asked about his inspirations for music, Thornton discussed a magazine he subscribed to and a model-building contest he once entered.

Then, Ghomeshi asked about Thornton's passion for music.

"Would you say that to Tom Petty?" Thornton shot back.

When the radio host suggested that mentioning Thornton's movie career was relevant to provide context for listeners, Thornton responded testily: "There's plenty of context without all that."

More than a million viewers had watched the clip on YouTube by the weekend. A CBC spokesperson also said the network received more than 4,000 blog responses and emails regarding the appearance.

Meanwhile, media around the world picked up the story and ran commentaries about Thornton's behaviour.