Alan Jackson’s battle with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease: ‘It’s getting more and more obvious’

After quietly battling Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease for over a decade, country music icon Alan Jackson decided to share his struggles with the public in 2021, acknowledging that the effects of the disease were becoming increasingly apparent.

Recently, he provided an update on his condition and discussed the future of his live performances for his devoted fans.

During a conversation with Today’s Jenna Bush Hager in 2021, the now 65-year-old Alan Jackson candidly spoke about his health challenges related to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).

“I have this neuropathy and neurological disease,” Jackson revealed, describing the illness he has been contending with for ten years. “It’s genetic that I inherited from my daddy… There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years.”

“It’s not going to kill me. It’s not deadly,” added the “Good Times” singer, providing context for his fans. “But it’s related [to] muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.”

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is described by John Hopkins Medicine as “an inherited disorder that affects the nerves supplying the feet, legs, hands, and arms. It is caused by gene defects that are nearly always inherited from a person’s parents.”

Jackson explained that both his grandmother and older sister also suffer from CMT.

“It’s getting more and more obvious. And I know I’m stumbling around on stage,” said the Georgia native. “And now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable.”

His steadfast supporter throughout his career has been his wife, high school sweetheart Denise Jackson.

The couple, married since 1979, shares three daughters: Mattie (born in 1990), Ali (born in 1993), and Dani (born in 1997).

Despite a brief separation in 1998, the couple has remained inseparable, with Denise continuing to be his biggest advocate.

During an interview with Bush Hager on Today, Denise emphasized her role in Alan’s life, stating, “When I’m down, he lifts me up. When he’s down, I try to lift him up.” She added, “The happy side of that is we’ve had a fairy tale life.”

Expressing gratitude for Denise’s unwavering support, Alan honored her while accepting the 2022 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMA Awards. “We started out as teenagers, and she’s hung in there and rode this roller-coaster ride with me for 40-something years now,” he said in his touching speech.

In the same year, Alan embarked on his tour, Last Call: One More for the Road Tour, clarifying that it was not a “farewell tour.”

“I never wanted to do the big retirement tour, like people do, then take a year off and then come back,” he explained. “I think that’s kinda cheesy. And I’m not saying I won’t be able to tour. I’ll try to do as much as I can. I don’t want people to be sad for me; it’s just part of life.”