Amy Armstrong 'grateful to be alive' and performing after cancer battle

Mon. January 31, 2022 10:39 AM by Ross Forman

amy armstrong

photo credit // provided

‘I’m technically cancer-free,’ says Amy Armstrong, who is set to perform Hydrate on Feb. 2

Amy Armstrong will be back in Chicago on Wednesday night, Feb. 2nd, singing at Hydrate Nightclub (3458 N. Halsted Street) – her first performance in the Windy City in a year.

A popular fixture on Chicago’s cabaret scene for 23 years, Armstrong has mixed her personal battles into her singing over the past three years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer on June 13, 2019.

She since has been living and battling the disease in Puerto Vallarta.

Tickets to Amy Armstrong Presents Diva La Vida Loca at Hydrate are $25, with VIP seats at $35. All attendees will be required to show proof of full COVID vaccination and follow City of Chicago COVID guidelines.

“I’m so excited to see everyone; I’m glad we can do live shows again,” Armstrong said. “I’m emotional; I’m just excited to be back in Boystown. I have so many memories over the years in the city, in Boystown – from the Pride Parades to the various bars. There is a real sense of camaraderie in Boystown, and I miss it. There’s nothing like Boystown.”

A Detroit native, Armstrong has been a professional entertainer since she was a child. Amy’s powerful and soulful voice mesmerizes listeners, coupled with her humor and, often, risqué humor.

She long sang with Freddy Allen.

“I’ve learned to be more vulnerable … hey, this is me,” Armstrong said of her personal battles over the past few years.

Armstrong, when diagnosed, was given a 70 percent chance to live as she had a tumor on the left side of her ovary. She immediately opted for treatment in Mexico, which started within days.

She has since had 12 chemotherapy sessions, a 6-hour surgery, radiation treatments, cat scans and more.

“Right now, I’m technically cancer-free,” Armstrong said in late January.

She also has lost her hair twice over the past three years.

But she’s never lost her drive and her joy of singing and entertaining. In fact, all through her treatments in Mexico, Armstrong was singing, doing live streams and more.

“I went through a lot of stuff, but music was really healing for me; it helped me get through what I’ve endured,” said Armstrong, who did more than 100 live streams over two years, “and they helped others too, those enduring the effects of COVID (and the pandemic).”

Now she gets to sing in front of people. The cheering crowd will be a delightful medicine for Armstrong.

“There’s just something about a live audience which you cannot get in a live stream – and Chicago has always shown me so much love,” said Armstrong, who sang with Allen for 20-plus years.

She’s been singing in Mexico with Fernando Gonzales. “We share such a love for music; that’s why we work together so well,” said Armstrong, 50. “We learn a lot from each other. He was a longtime guitarist, now singing differently than what he was used to because he is with me. And I started singing in Spanish.”

Armstrong added: “Life is a roller coaster, filled with ups and downs. I now am less reactionary; I give people more grace because of everything that has happened. I’m grateful to be alive; I don’t sweat the small stuff.

“I enjoy being around people, singing for people. I just enjoy every day, and don’t know if I did before.”

And she really misses Chicago, especially the melting pot that is the Windy City.

“This is my hometown … Chicago means so much to me,” Armstrong said.