Country music star Alan Jackson has made a heartbreaking announcement regarding his health. In an interview with Today, Jackson revealed that he has been living with a degenerative nerve condition for nearly a decade.
The country music star told Today that he was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, an inherited disorder, around 10 years ago. The disease is also known as CMT, “ironically enough,” said Jackson, quipping about the country music television channel.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease causes nerve damage, mostly in the arms and legs. It can also cause muscle contractions, a loss of sensation, and difficulty walking.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of CMT usually begin during adolescence or early adulthood, but can also develop later in life, such as in the case of Jackson, who was diagnosed in his early 50s.
“There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years. And it’s getting more and more obvious,” Jackson said. “And I know I’m stumbling around onstage. And now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable.”
Fortunately, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is not deadly, and does not decrease an individual’s life expectancy. But, there is no cure.
Jackson also revealed during the interview that his grandmother, father, and one of his sisters also lived with the disease.
The country music star told the interviewer that it was a “relief” to finally discuss his condition in the open after so many years, as he has become “self-conscious” about how he looks when he is on stage. Jackson also made sure to note that he isn’t stepping out of the spotlight quite yet.
“I never wanted to do the big retirement tour, like people do, then take a year off and then come back. I think that’s kinda cheesy,” the country music star said. “And I’m not saying I won’t be able to tour. I’ll try to do as much as I can.”
Jackson’s newest album, Where Have You Gone, was released in May. He only has one tour date for 2021 left on his schedule at the moment, which will take place on October 8th at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.