Gary Susman
October 16, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Wyclef Jean may have been killing himself softly with his own song. The singer was hospitalized Thursday in Miami for exhaustion and dehydration, which his publicist chalked up to food poisoning and stress from touring too hard. Jean, whose new album ”The Preacher’s Son” (J Records) drops Nov. 4, has been performing a lot lately in Europe and the U.S., most recently at the Source Hip-Hop Music Awards in Miami on Monday. The next day, he fell ill and was admitted to an area hospital, where he was expected to remain through the weekend, J publicist Lois Najarian told the Associated Press.

”Apparently, he was on his way back from his promotional tour in Europe and got food poisoning” she said. “It just seemed to snowball into something that made him very sick and put him in the hospital.”

Maybe this is nature’s way of telling Jean, who turns 31 on Friday, to take it easy. ”The doctor is recommending that he slow down a bit,” Najarian told AP. That means Jean is bowing out of a scheduled appearance Tuesday at GQ magazine’s Men of the Year Awards. Still, Najarian said the former Fugee is expected to be back on his feet in time for two free concerts in New York on Oct. 23: a brief jam in the middle of Times Square at lunchtime and a full show in the evening at the Roseland Ballroom.

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