The 62-year-old Grammy winner has been diagnosed with a progressive nerve disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which impairs his balance and reduces the size and strength of his muscles. This may limit his ability to stand on his two feet and perform live, as he has admitted to feeling unsteady and uncomfortable on stage.
Jackson inherited from his father, who also had the disease, and his grandmother, who was diagnosed with it as well. Jackson’s sister is currently fighting CMT as well. There is no cure for the disease, but it is not life-threatening, although it is connected to other conditions such as Parkinson’s and muscular dystrophy.
Jackson revealed his diagnosis during an interview with TODAY show host Jenna Bush Hager, stating that he felt it was a “blessing” to be able to share his condition with the public and live his life truthfully rather than attempting to conceal it. He said, “It’s been affecting me for years, and it’s getting more and more obvious. I know I’m stumbling around on stage. And now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable. I think it will be good for me now to get it out in the open.”
Jackson’s CMT disease may be a hindrance, but it has not stopped him from achieving great success in the world of country music. He has the support of his fans and fellow musicians, and with their encouragement and his own determination, he will continue to make music and inspire others despite the challenges he faces.