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Music Icon Has Alzheimer’s

By on January 3, 2013

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Bobby Womack has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

“The doctor said, ‘You have signs of Alzheimer’s,’ ” Womack,  68, says. “He said it’s not bad yet but it’s going to get worse.” Womack reflected when asked, “How  can I not remember songs that I wrote? That’s frustrating.” Womack last summer  made a big comeback with the critically acclaimed The Bravest Man in the  Universe, his first studio album in nearly 20 years.

Music legend Bobby Womack opened up about his frequent drug use in his written memoirs, I’m a Midnight Mover. At the time, he said he began using cocaine sometime in the late 1960s. His cocaine use turned into an addiction by the late 1970s. Womack partially blamed his habit for his son, Truth’s, death as an infant in 1976. At the end of the 1980s, Womack went into a rehab facility to get over his cocaine addiction, which he said he conquered. Womack contracted diabetes in his later years. In early 2012, Womack entered several hospitals with health problems including pneumonia, for which he was successfully treated.


Bobby Womack has had a career spanning more than 50 years. He wrote and performed many, many soul hits including “California Dreamin,” and “Across 110th Street.” He also wrote The Rolling Stones’ first UK No. 1 hit, “It’s All Over Now,” and was more recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. If a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, you do not have to go through it alone, call 1-800-272-3900.

One Comment

  1. Sandra Jenson

    January 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Sad. Very sad. I love so much of his music.

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