Kris Kristofferson says he’s lucky to be able to remember his song lyrics nowadays so he can keep performing despite his battle with memory loss.
The 77-year-old country music star told FOX411 he noticed his memory worsening a few years back. Before he rose to fame, Kristofferson excelled in academia, becoming an esteemed Rhodes Scholar and attending Oxford University. But the memory loss, he says, is likely a result of many concussions he suffered long ago.
“They tell me it’s from all the football and boxing…But I can remember my songs so I can perform,” he said.
Studies have shown that even a single concussion can cause long-term damage to the brain including volume loss and damaging structural changes.
Kristofferson isn’t the first celebrity to speak out about his health problems. In 2011, fellow country singer Glen Campbell, also 77, revealed he has Alzheimer’s in an interview with ABC. His wife, Kim Campbell, says her husband still occasionally lays down vocal tracks in the studio but that the disease has progressed too far to allow him to continue touring, something the family and Campbell’s management left open when he wrapped up his successful goodbye world tour last year.
“Columbo” star Peter Falk also fought Alzheimer’s for several years before he passed away in 2011.
Despite the new health concerns, Kristofferson is still staying active and starred in “The Motel Life” released earlier this month.
“I am very lucky,” Kristofferson said. “I am very blessed and am at a very good point in my life.”
CORRECTION: The original version of this story said that Glen Campbell canceled his goodbye world tour.
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