HomeEntertainmentMusicAlan Jackson Reveals Battle With ‘Neurological Disease’ Affecting His Ability to Walk

Alan Jackson Reveals Battle With ‘Neurological Disease’ Affecting His Ability to Walk

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM)

Recently, musical icon and champion of traditional country music Alan Jackson announced that he is dealing with a degenerative disorder. The disorder is affecting his ability to walk as well as his balance.

Alan Jackson sat down with Today host Jenna Bush Hager recently and revealed that he has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which is a degenerative nerve condition. However, it isn’t new. The country icon has been dealing with the condition for ten years. About this, he said, “I have this neuropathy and neurological disease. It’s genetic and I inherited it from my daddy.”

Alan Jackson went on to say that there’s no cure for CMT. Recently, he says, the disease is getting worse. “It’s getting more and more obvious,” he said. “I know I’m stumbling around on stage. And now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone.” All in all, he just feels, “very uncomfortable.”

The disease makes balancing harder by affecting the peripheral nervous system as well as small muscles in the extremities. However, there is some good news. Alan Jackson told Today, “It’s not going to kill me. It’s not deadly. But, it’s related to muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.”

Furthermore, Jackson has no intention of hanging up his guitar any time soon. “I’ve never wanted to do the big retirement tour, like people do, then take a year off and come back. I think that’s kinda cheesy. I’m not saying I won’t be able to tour. I’ll try to do as much as I can.”

How Alan Jackson Deals with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

CMT Disease can be managed with supportive therapy. Alan Jackson gets plenty of support from his wife, Denise. They’ve been married for 41 years and have seen their fair share of ups and downs. About their relationship, Denise said, “When I’m down, he lifts me up. When he’s down, I try to lift him up. The happy side of that is we’ve had a fairy-tale life.”

Alan Jackson is still focused on his career. However, these days, he’s looking on the bright side. He has championed traditional country music since the early days of his career. As a result, he sometimes had to fight tooth and nail to get a hit on the radio. He’s not too worried about that anymore, though. “I feel a little more freedom now because I’m not trying to worry about getting on the radio and fitting into limitations.”

Alan Jackson went on to say that the music is his focus, now more than ever. “I’ve always believed that the music is the most important thing. The Songs.” Jackson said that he hopes his songs are the legacy he leaves behind. Denise agreed. “He’ll have so many songs for our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren to hear and know who he was. To know what was important to him, to get a little touch of our lives together through his music.”