Bobby Womack, R&B legend, has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, according to revelations he made to the BBC. In an interview, the singer-songwriter who is now 68 shared, “The doctor said, ‘You have signs of Alzheimer’s.’ He said it’s not bad yet, but it’s going to get worse.”
The soul singer has been experiencing difficulty remembering the names of his collaborators while performing, in addition to his own song lyrics. “How can I not remember songs I wrote? That’s frustrating,” Womack admitted.
The star is in the middle of a career resurgence. After Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, he released the LP The Bravest Man in the Universe in 2012, his first album of new material since 1994. The album was produced by Blur and Gorillaz singer Damon Albam, who has also invited Womack to perform and record with him.
Albam is credited with introducing Womack to new audiences, which makes it even more upsetting to the older man when he forgets Albam’s name at events.
“I don’t feel together yet because negative things come in my mind and it’s hard for me to remember sometimes,” Womack related, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The most embarrassing thing was when we were getting ready to announce Damon and I can’t remember his last name. That’s so embarrassing.”
Womack has overcome a series of health scares including being treated for pneumonia, prostate cancer, and suspected colon cancer in the past 24 months. A tumor removed for colon cancer diagnosis tested negative.
According to a 2012 study by the Alzheimer’s Association, “older African-Americans and Hispanics are proportionately more likely than older whites to have Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” although most people with the disease in America are non-hispanic whites. The sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, there is currently little effective treatment for the prevention or slowing of Alzheimer’s disease.
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