Sep 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Alan Jackson reveals nerve disorder

Alan Jackson wears a white cowboy hat while playing the guitar on stage in May 2021.

Alan Jackson performs in May 2021. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Capital Concerts

Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson has a degenerative nerve condition, he disclosed in an exclusive interview with Jenna Bush Hager on "Today."

Why it matters: The 62-year-old superstar said that for the last decade he's dealt with a condition called CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder), which causes abnormalities in the nerves that control the feet, legs, hands and arms.

  • It has now progressed to the point where it is impacting his ability to perform.

What he's saying: Jackson told Bush Hager he has been "stumbling around onstage" and wanted to explain the situation to his fans.

  • "I was starting to get so self-conscious up there … so if anybody's curious why I don't walk right, that's why," Jackson said. “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."
  • Jackson said CMT won't kill him, but it has been getting worse.
  • "I don't want people to be sad for me; it's just part of life," Jackson said. "I've had a wonderful, beautiful life. I've been so blessed. It's just good to put it out there in the open.
  • "In some ways, it's a relief."

What's next: Jackson, an inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Songwriter Hall of Fame, and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, has hardly slowed down.

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