Almost five years after his initial diagnosis, Glen Campbell is now in the final stages of Alzheimer’s. Sources close to the country icon tell Rolling Stone Country that he has been in Stage Seven of the degenerative brain disease for some time now and is unable to communicate.
Campbell is currently living in a Nashville memory care facility, where his family reports that music therapy has been particularly helpful. “Glen’s getting great care; he’s happy, he’s cheerful,” the singer’s wife, Kim Campbell, tells the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s healthy but he has lost most of his language skills. He doesn’t understand anything anyone is saying to him. But there’s life and energy and community. He’s there with other people — doctors, lawyers — who are all facing the same thing. I’m in a community with other family members who are going through the same thing.”
The entertainer famously shared his journey through the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s in the 2014 documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, which spawned the Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.” Campbell’s family members have since become tireless advocates for Alzheimer’s awareness and research, using the film to not only get the message out but also comfort other families dealing with the devastating illness.
“He puts a real human face on this disease that a lot of people are dealing with that we don’t really hear about a lot in the media,” daughter Ashley Campbell told Rolling Stone Country last year. “That’s the conversation we’re hoping to start, that it’s real and it happens to people we love and that we need to personalize it.”
Glen Campbell, who will turn 79 next month, is a pop-country crossover sensation, selling more than 50 million albums worldwide on the strength of hits such as “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston” and his signature “Rhinestone Cowboy.” He also has a long list of acting credits and hosted his own TV show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, in the late Sixties and early Seventies. He didn’t officially retire until the end of his farewell tour in 2014, during which he was just coming to grips with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.