Country’s Alan Jackson Reveals He’s Been Living With Nerve Disease For 10 Years

Alan Jackson revealed this week that he’s been living with a degenerative nerve condition for about 10 years, but vowed to continue performing as long as his health will allow. 

Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday, the country superstar said he was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease a decade ago, noting it has impacted his ability to walk. 

“It’s genetic that I inherited from my daddy … There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years,” said the two-time Grammy winner. “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.”

According to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, CMT is one of the most common types of inherited nerve diseases. Though the illness does not alter life expectancy, it impacts the peripheral nervous system and causes weakness in the legs and feet. 

“It’s not going to kill me,” Jackson added. “It’s not deadly, but it is related to muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.” 

A Georgia native, Jackson, 62, rose to fame in the early 1990s with hits like “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and “Chattahoochee,” and has reportedly sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2017. In May, he unveiled “Where Have You Gone,” his first studio album in six years. 

Though performing might look a little different for Jackson in the future, he has no intention of retiring from the road anytime soon. In fact, he’s slated to return to the concert stage next month with a performance at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I never wanted to do the big retirement tour, like people do, then take a year off and then come back,” he said Tuesday. “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.”

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