Country legend Alan Jackson revealed Tuesday that he has a degenerative nerve condition that is impacting his ability to perform on stage.
The 62-year-old Georgia native told Jenna Bush Hager of the “Today” show on NBC that he was diagnosed a decade ago with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which makes it more difficult for Jackson to walk normally.
“I have this neuropathy and neurological disease,” Jackson said. “It’s genetic that I inherited from my daddy… 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 on stage. And now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable.”
The peripheral nerve damage from the condition mostly impacts the arms and legs, weakening the muscles over time, according to the Mayo Clinic website. “The severity of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, even among family members,” the story notes.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates about 126,000 individuals in the United States and 2.6 million worldwide are impacted by this disease. “There is currently no cure for CMT but it can be managed with supportive therapy,” the site noted, also saying that it does not impact life expectancy.
“It’s not going to kill me. It’s not deadly,” Jackson said. “But it’s related (to) muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.”
Jackson said this does not necessarily mean the end of his time on stage. “I’m not saying I won’t be able to tour,” he said. “I’ll try to do as much as I can.”
The Country Music Hall of Fame inductee has 15 studio albums, 60 top 40 country hits and 26 No. 1 country songs including “Chattahoochee,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “Gone Country,” “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”
©2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.