(Photo: Reuters / Phil McCarten)
In an interview with PEOPLE magazine, due to hit newsstands on Friday, country singer Glen Campbell, 75, and his wife, Kim, reveal that he has Alzheimer’s disease.
He received the diagnosis six months ago and went public with it now because Campbell is scheduled to begin his farewell tour – in support of what he says will be his final album, Ghost on the Canvas, due August 30 – and the Campbells want people to be aware of Glen’s condition.
“Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer,” Kim told PEOPLE. “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?’”
Campbell battled an addiction to alcohol for many years, but reports say he has been sober for years.
The country star, who is a professing Christian, has released more than 50 studio albums, has had multiple number one hits – including “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Southern Nights” and “Wichita Lineman,” – won eight Grammy Awards and three Dove Awards, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
During an interview in 1998, Campbell was asked, “Was your ultimate goal to become a recording, touring artist?” to which he responded, “Well, I don't really know. My ultimate goal is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and then see God. That's my ultimate goal.”
Heaven was certainly on Campbell’s mind when he sang these words on a track called “A Better Place” on Ghost on the Canvas.
I’ve tried and I have failed Lord
I’ve won and I have lost
I’ve lived and I have loved Lord
Sometimes at such a cost
One thing I know
The world’s been good for me
A better place awaits
He’s anxious to go back out on tour for the final time.
“I still love making music,” Campbell told PEOPLE. “And I still love performing for my fans. I’d like to thank them for sticking with me through thick and thin.”