Entertainment & Arts

Bobby Womack reveals Alzheimer's fears

Bobby Womack
Image caption Bobby Womack's latest release The Bravest Man In The Universe won best album at the 2012 Q Awards

Soul veteran Bobby Womack has revealed that he has been diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

The singer and songwriter, 68, whose tracks include Across 110th Street and Lookin' For a Love, said he had trouble remembering songs and names.

"The doctor said you have signs of Alzheimer's," he told Gilles Peterson on BBC 6 Music. "He said it's not bad yet but it's going to get worse.

"How can I not remember songs that I wrote? That's frustrating."

Womack recently returned to music after having surgery for prostate and colon cancer and suffering pneumonia twice and collapsed lungs.

Last year, he earned acclaim for his first album of new material for 18 years, The Bravest Man In The Universe, which was produced by Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn and XL Records founder Richard Russell.

"I don't feel together yet because negative things come in my mind and it's hard for me to remember sometimes," Womack said.

"The most embarrassing thing was when we were getting ready to announce Damon and I can't remember his last name. That's so embarrassing."

The Bravest Man In The Universe won the prize for best album at the Q Magazine awards in October.

It was also named the best album of 2012 by Clash magazine, who said it was "music that affects the depths of your soul, that makes you want to dance, that makes you want to cry".

Womack began his career singing with his brothers in The Valentinos and playing guitar for Sam Cooke. One of his early songs, It's All Over Now, was recorded by The Rolling Stones and became their first UK number one in 1964.

As well as pursuing a solo career, Womack wrote hits for Wilson Pickett and George Benson and played guitar for Aretha Franklin and Sly & the Family Stone.

He was an early influence on Jimi Hendrix and was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

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