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Alan Jackson has been dealing with a health issue for years. In an interview with Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday's episode of the Todayshow, the 62-year-old country singer reveals that he has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a degenerative nerve condition.
"It's genetic that I inherited from my daddy," Jackson said. "... There's no cure for it, but it's been affecting me for years. It's getting more and more obvious. I know I'm stumbling around on stage. Now I'm having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable."
Per Mayo Clinic, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is hereditary, and causes nerve damage in the arms and legs, resulting in smaller, weaker muscles.
"It's not going to kill me. It's not deadly," Jackson said. "But it's related [to] muscular dystrophy and Parkinson's disease."
“It’s been affecting me for years.”
Ten years ago, country music superstar Alan Jackson was diagnosed with a degenerative nerve condition affecting his ability to walk. Now, for the first time, he opens up about his health struggles to @JennaBushHager. pic.twitter.com/IkrQOeixjR
Amid the progression of the disease, Jackson leans on his wife of more than 40 years, Denise Jackson, for support.
"When I'm down, he lifts me up. When he's down, I try to lift him up," she said. "The happy side of that is we've had a fairytale life."
For Jackson, who's a two-time GRAMMY Award winner, that fairytale life still includes music.
"I never wanted to do the big retirement tour, like people do, then take a year off and then come back," he said. "I think that's kinda cheesy. I'm not saying I won't be able to tour. I'll try to do as much as I can."
One reason he wants to continue to make music, is to leave something behind for his family. The Jacksons are parents to three daughters, Mattie, 31, Alexandra, 28, and Dani, 24.
"He'll have so many songs for our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren to hear and know who he was," Jackson's wife said. "To know what was important to him. To get a little touch of our lives together through his music."
"I've always believed that the music is the most important thing, the songs," Jackson agreed. "I guess that's what I'd like to [leave] if I had a legacy."