Alan Jackson is opening up to fans about a disease he’s been battling for years.
The 62-year-old country singer told the “Today” show that he’s been battling a “no cure” degenerative neurological condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease for the better part of a decade.
“It’s not going to kill me. It’s not deadly,” Jackson said about the disease he inherited from his father.
“But it’s related (to) muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease,” he added, detailing how CMT has cut into the “Chattahoochee” musician’s ability to perform live.
“There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years. And it’s getting more and more obvious. And I know I’m stumbling around onstage. And now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable.”
Speaking at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, a legendary setting Jackson was inducted into in 2017, he says the goal is to power through CMT rather than calling it quits.
“I think that’s kinda cheesy. And I’m not saying I won’t be able to tour. I’ll try to do as much as I can,” Jackson said. “I never wanted to do the big retirement tour, like people do, then take a year off and then come back.”
Jackson’s wife of nearly 42 years, Denise Jackson, said that despite the condition, the couple has lived many blessed years.
“The happy side of that is we’ve had a fairytale life,” she said.
“He’ll have so many songs for our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren to hear and know who he was.”
Leaving behind something substantial is also an objective for Jackson, who said, “I’ve always believed that the music is the most important thing. The songs. And I guess that’s what I’d like to (leave) if I had a legacy.”
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