Music legend Kris Kristofferson, 77, courageously opened up recently about his deteriorating memory loss, and though the star is doing well, it was clear at a recent concert that something was off.
An eyewitness shares with Closer that during a show at Carpenter Center in Long Beach, Calif., Kris stumbled over the lyrics of some of his most famous songs, despite using a teleprompter.
The source adds that when a woman in the audience shouted out a request, Kris asked his wife Lisa, watching from backstage, if she recalled the track’s first lines, because he couldn’t.
Kris could be suffering from pugilistica, a neurodegenerative disease with features of dementia, that can only be diagnosed after death, though a rep denies it.
If Kris does have pugilistica, the symptoms progress slowly and there is no known cure to stop the brain’s degeneration.
“It’s not as unpleasant as it sounds,” Kris reassures Closer. “I am doing great.”
Though his wife delights in Kris’ optimism, Lisa doesn’t shy away from reality. “He’s really good,” she reveals exclusively to Closer, but his forgetfulness is “worsening a lot now.”
Kristofferson (R) with Willie Nelson at the Grammys Jan. 26
All things considered, the country star is doing well and his sense of humor has remained completely intact.
“The great thing about losing your memory is that I can go all the way back to the beginning [of movies I’ve seen] and I’m never bored!” he says with a laugh.
A family member describes Kris’ condition as “a day-to-day thing,” but adds, “it’s impressive that at his age, he is still able to do as much as he is doing.”
Kris continues to stay busy on tour to promote his recently released album, "Feeling Mortal," and will soon head back into the studio with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, with whom he performed at the Grammy Awards on Jan. 26.
“I’ll probably be writing songs when they throw dirt on me,” Kris jokes to Closer.
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