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Glen Campbell’s Daughter: ‘He’s Just Happy Every Day’

“He doesn’t really use language much anymore, but we look on the bright side,” says Ashley Campbell

glen campbell, ashley campbell

Ashley Campbell, onstage with Glen Campbell in 2012, shares a health update on her father, who is living in a memory-care facility.

Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Currently in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, country legend Glen Campell will release his final studio album on June 9th. Titled Adiós, the project is a heartbreaking yet uplifting collection of Campbell’s favorite songs, most of which he had never before recorded.

During an interview about the new album, Campbell’s daughter Ashley Campbell, with whom he shared the stage during his 2012-2013 Goodbye Tour, said the Country Music Hall of Fame member has been transferred to professional care.

“My dad is currently living in a beautiful memory care facility, and he is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s,” Ashley says. “He has aphasia, so he can’t really communicate, he can’t really understand language as we do. I kind of look at it like he can’t really receive information. He hears just fine – he doesn’t need a hearing aid – he just has trouble processing what he hears.”

Offering that Campbell enjoys visits from family and friends on a regular basis, Ashley says her father’s manifestation of the disease – which robs patients of memory and cognition, along with speech – is debilitating, but not as bad as it could be.

“He doesn’t really use language much anymore, but we look on the bright side [because] in these late stages of Alzheimer’s, it could be very bad,” she says. “It could be confusion and anger a lot of the time, which is the case for a lot of people I’ve seen. But for him he’s just happy every day, smiles, he enjoys life and he enjoys being around people – and he loves a good piece of cake.”

Ashley says she visited her father for dinner recently, and for just an instant, the old Glen came back to the surface.

“We were sitting at dinner, and he used to do this joking thing where he would threaten to stab you with a fork and then laugh,” she says. “So he did it again. He knocked a piece of food off his plate and I reached to put it back, and he turns on me with the fork and goes, ‘Haha!’ It was so funny. Little glimpses of him will come back every now and then, and it just makes me so happy.”

Campbell’s Adiós album will be released June 9th, while Ashley has just finished recording her debut album. She’s set to perform as part of this year’s CMA Music Festival in Nashville on June 10th. 

In This Article: Glen Campbell

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