Bad news for Morrissey fans who were planning on catching the former Smiths frontman on his American tour this week: He's postponed a string of dates after flying home to the UK in order to take care of his sick mother.

The exact nature of her illness has not been reported, but she was described in a press release as being "hospitalized" and "unwell" -- which certainly sounds serious enough to set aside professional obligations for the time being.

Morrissey's present plans call for resuming the tour on Oct. 29 in Minneapolis and continuing through the remainder of his scheduled dates -- but in the meantime, according to a spokesperson, "Those who have already purchased tickets for the dates in Pittsburgh, Columbus, Flint and Chicago are encouraged to hold on to their tickets and look out for the rescheduled dates. The new dates will be announced within the coming days."

Morrissey hasn't released an album of new studio recordings since 'Years of Refusal' in 2009, but he's reportedly at work on an autobiography, allegedly due for release before the end of 2012.