Country singer Alan Jackson has written some of the most popular country songs over the last two decades. He has over 60 singles under his belt, and half of them have reached the number one spot on the country charts. He’s considered one of the best and most influential country songwriters of the modern era.
Unfortunately, his most recent announcement was much more serious than a new album. The 62-year-old country superstar recently shared that he has been suffering from a neurological disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth for over a decade now.
The disease is passed down through genetics, and he inherited it from his father as he explained during an interview with TODAY show host Jenna Bush Hager.
“It’s genetic that I inherited from my daddy,” Jackson said in an interview. Besides his father, his grandmother was also diagnosed with it, and his sister is currently battling it just like he is. “There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years. And it’s getting more and more obvious.”
Despite the cruel prognosis, he does not think that the condition will affect his ability to go on tour, but only time will be able to tell whether that is the case or not.
Fortunately, Jackson’s condition does not affect his lifespan. But it does have consequences for his arms and legs because it makes his muscles smaller and weaker. This can affect his ability to balance on his two feet because they can become plagued with hammertoes and high arches.
Jackson said he’s been “stumbling around on stage, and now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone.” He added, “I just feel very uncomfortable.”
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an inherited, genetic condition. It occurs when there are mutations in the genes that affect the nerves in your feet, legs, hands, and arms.
Since it is hereditary, you’re at higher risk of developing the disease if someone in your immediate family has it. There is no cure for the disease. However, it generally progresses slowly and doesn’t affect the expected life span.
There are some treatments to help people manage Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseases, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy.
Watch the exclusive interview from TODAY below:
“It’s been affecting me for years.”
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
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 28, 2021
Watch the FULL interview here: Today/Youtube