Alan Jackson, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, revealed on Tuesday that he had Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, a group of diseases that cause nerve damage. As a result of this ailment, his ability to move and maintain his balance on stage has been compromised.
During an interview with Jenna Bush Hager of the “TODAY” show, Jackson, 62, revealed that he inherited the illness from his father and that it has affected many members of his family. His illness was discovered ten years ago.
“It’s been impacting me for years, and it’s becoming more and more evident to everyone around me,” Jackson said. “And I know I’m bumbling about on stage, and now I’m having a little issue balancing even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel really uncomfortable,” he continued.
He indicated that he does not want his followers to feel sorry for him and that, while the illness is not fatal, it will eventually render him unable of performing his job.
This past spring saw the release of “Where Have You Gone,” Jackson’s first new studio album in over six years. At the moment, he only has one tour date booked, which will take place on October 8 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. This event was initially scheduled for 2020.
He has no plans to retire from live performance anytime soon.
“I’ve always felt that I never wanted to do a retirement tour like people do, then take a year off, and come back,” he explained. “I’ve always felt I’d never undertake a retirement tour like everyone else.” “I think that’s kind of clichéd, but I’ve always loved some of my heroes…they never retire, and they just play as much as they can and want to, and that’s what I’d like to do if my health allows it,” he said.