Country Music Hall-of-Famer Glen Campbell--beloved by many for his massive hits such as "Rhinestone Cowboy"--has announced that he has Alzheimer's Disease.
Campbell, who is 75, revealed his illness in an exclusive interview with People this week. He says he learned of the official diagnosis just six months ago, although he has been suffering from short-term memory loss for years. He and his wife, Kim, explained that they wanted fans to understand his condition, as he hopes to play a series of "farewell" performances this fall.
Campbell's wife noted that he is still able to play and sing. "But if he flubs a lyric or gets confused on stage, I wouldn't want people to think, 'What's the matter with him? Is he drunk?" she told People.
The farewell tour will also be in support of Campbell's upcoming album, Ghost In The Canvas, which is set for release August 30. News of the tour buzzed about earlier this year, but at the time was positioned as a final outing before his retirement.
"I still love performing for my fans," the singer told People. "I'd like to thank them for sticking with me through thick and thin."
Campbell's remarkable career, which began more than 50 years ago when he moved to Los Angeles to become a studio musician, included a stream of classic hit singles such as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "I Wanna Live," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," and "Southern Nights." He was one of the biggest country stars of the '60s and '70s, with his own variety show on TV. Additionally, he enjoyed crossover success as a pop artist. He became a member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2005.
Campbell's 2008 "comeback" album, Meet Glen Campbell, featured the singer covering tracks from non-country artists such as Green Day, the Foo Fighters and U2.
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