Country News

Alan Jackson shares he has a genetic neurological disorder

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Kristy Belcher

Alan Jackson is opening up about a degenerative nerve condition he’s been living with for the past 10 years. 

In an interview on the Today show, the country legend shares that he’s been diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), a genetic neurological disorder that affects the nerves and muscles in his legs, arms and hands and has left him with mobility and balance issues.

CMT is related to muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease. Though the illness gets worse over time and there’s no cure for it, the singer says CMT is not fatal.   

“It’s already affecting me tremendously,” Jackson reveals in an interview from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, adding that he’s been having trouble balancing in front of the microphone onstage. “It’s been affecting me for years and it’s getting more and more obvious. So I just feel very uncomfortable.” 

Jackson inherited CMT from his father, later finding out that his grandmother on his father’s side had it and his older sister is living with it.  

“This is not a condition that I would be complaining about typically, but it is going to affect me performance-wise onstage and I don’t know how much I’ll continue to tour,” he continues.

The “Small Town Southern Man” singer says he will try to tour “as much as I can” and plans to continue to release new music. 

Jackson released his 21st studio album, Where Have You Gone, in May. He’s scheduled to perform at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on October 8. 

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