Alan Jackson revealed in an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show this morning that he is battling a degenerative nerve condition known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease. The hereditary condition, which he was diagnosed with a decade ago but kept private, affects his ability to walk and keep his balance. JACKSON, who is 62, said his grandmother, father and oldest sister also had the condition, which damages limb muscles.
“It’s been affecting me for years, and it’s getting more and more obvious,” JACKSON said during the interview, explaining his reasoning for revealing his diagnosis. “I know I’m stumbling around on stage now. I’m having a little trouble balancing even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable, and I just want people to know that’s why I look like I do.
“It’s been affecting me for years.”— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 28, 2021
Ten years ago, country music superstar Alan Jackson was diagnosed with a degenerative nerve condition affecting his ability to walk. Now, for the first time, he opens up about his health struggles to @JennaBushHager. pic.twitter.com/IkrQOeixjR
“I just wanted the fans and the public to know,” he added. “I don’t want ’em to think I’m drunk onstage because I’m having problems with mobility and balance.”
Likening the incurable condition to Parkinson’s disease or muscular dystrophy, JACKSON said it’s not fatal, but, “It’s gonna disable me eventually.”
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The better news for fans of the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAMER is that he plans to continue performing as much as he can. “I never wanted to do the big retirement tour like people do, and then take a year off, and then come back,” he said. “I think it’s kind of cheesy.” Expressing admiration for his Country music heroes who never came off the road, JACKSON said, “They never retired, just played as much as they could or want to. I always thought I’d like to do that, and I would like to do that if my health will let me.” But, he added, “I don’t know how much I’ll continue to tour … I’ll try to do as much as I can,”
Watch his full interview with JENNA BUSH HAGER below or here.