NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) – -Country music hitmaker Alan Jackson revealed that he’s been living with a degenerative nerve disorder for more than a decade that has begun to impact his ability to perform and tour.
Jackson disclosed the malady during an interview on NBC’s Today show, telling Jenna Bush Hager that he is suffering from the genetic condition, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder or CMT.
“I’ve been reluctant to talk about this publicly and to my fans, but I have this neuropathy – a neurological disease that’s genetic that I inherited from my daddy,” Jackson told Bush Hager. “There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years. And it’s getting more and more obvious.”
Jackson was diagnosed with CMT more than a decade ago. The disease abnormalities in the nerves that supply the feet, legs, hands, and arms, affecting motor and sensory nerves. CMT is genetic and Jackson revealed that his father, sister, and grandmother all suffered from it as well.
According to Jackson, he experiences CMT as muscle weakness and discomfort, particularly when he stands for long periods, such as during a concert.
“It’s not going to kill me – it’s not deadly,” Jackson told Bush Hager and his fans. “I know I’m stumbling around onstage, and now I’m having a little trouble balancing even in front of a microphone. I’m just very uncomfortable. I was starting to get so self-conscious up there…so if anybody’s curious why I don’t walk right, that’s why,” he adds. “I just wanted the fans and the public to know. I don’t want ’em to think I’m drunk onstage because I’m having problems with mobility and balance.”
As for how it will impact his future touring plans, Jackson seemed like he wasn’t quite ready to hang up his spurs.
“I never wanted to do the retirement tour like people do and then take a year off and then come back,” he told Bush Hager “They never retired; just played as much as they could or want to. I always thought I’d like to do that, and I would like to do that if my health will let me,” he continued but added that, “I don’t know how much I’ll continue to tour.”
“I’m not saying I won’t be able to tour. I’ll try to do as much as I can,” Jackson said.