Glen Campbell reveals Alzheimer's diagnosis

Jun 22, 2011 at 4:14 p.m. ET

Country music legend Glen Campbell has opened up about his new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Glen CampbellRhinestone Cowboy singer Glen Campbell, 75, has revealed that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease six months ago. The country legend had been struggling with short-term memory loss for many years before getting the diagnosis.

His wife told People that they decided to go public with the diagnosis because Campbell is planning on doing some farewell performances this fall and they wanted fans to be aware of his condition.

"Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer," his wife Kim says. "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 was arrested in 2003 for extreme DUI, as well as leaving the scene of an accident (he ran into another car in Phoenix, Arizona, and left the scene). He also was charged with aggravated assault after kneeing a sergeant in the thigh while being booked into jail, but that charge was later dropped. He served 10 days in jail.

Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that affects memory, language, thinking and behavior. One of the early symptoms is forgetfulness, however, it does gradually get worse over time.

The Grammy-award winning singer was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and has recorded over 50 albums in the span of his career.

"I still love making music," Campbell says. "And I still love performing for my fans. I'd like to thank them for sticking with me through thick and thin."