Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Foreigner founder Mick Jones is battling Parkinson’s disease

Foreigner founder Mick Jones has revealed he’s been battling Parkinson’s disease for “several years”.

The 79-year-old musician is the last remaining original member in the rock band – which is currently completing a mammoth final tour – and he’s been unable to perform live since 2022, due to the neurodegenerative disorder – symptoms of which include tremors, stiffness, balance problems and slow mobility.

The ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ hitmaker – who underwent heart surgery in 2012 – admits it’s “a daily struggle” dealing with his symptoms and explained that it’s important to “preserve” his legacy and has vowed to “remain a presence” behind the scenes.

In a social media statement issued this week, he explained: “Fans will have become very aware that for some time now, I have not been performing onstage with the band. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I want everyone to know that I am doing alright.

“However, I’ve always liked to be at my best when performing onstage, and sadly, at present, I find that a bit difficult. I am still very much involved in the background with Foreigner and remain a presence. Parkinson’s is a daily struggle; the important thing is to persevere and remind myself of the wonderful career I’ve had in music. I thank all the fans who have supported Foreigner throughout the years and continue to attend our concerts — I want you to know I appreciate your support; it always means so very much to me, but especially so at this point in my life.”

The final shows he did perform at saw him come out for a select number of songs.

In his absence, bassist Jeff Pilson has taken Mick’s place. The group is fronted by Kelly Hansen.

Foreigner are one of the world’s bestselling bands of all time, having sold more than 80 million records worldwide.

The original lineup also included Ian McDonald of King Crimson and Lou Gramm from Black Sheep, alongside Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, and Ed Gagliardi.

The ‘Feels Like the First Time’ group’s original members and former backing vocalist and bassist Rick Wills recently received their first-ever nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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