Singer-songwriter Glen Campbell dies of Alzheimer’s at 81

Music legend Glen Campbell died Tuesday after an eight-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81.

Despite 21 Top 40 hits, dozens of albums and appearances on the silver screen, the music legend may end up being best known for his brave and very public approach to his own disease. In 2014, he and his family agreed to allow a documentary film crew to film the medical progression of his disease during his last touring year.

The award-winning film, "I’ll Be Me," got its first national exposure in a special CNN showing in 2015. It gave many people their first public view into what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s—and what it’s like to be the family caregivers. The footage was at times light and funny, and at times down and dirty, shirking nothing—it showed the gentle, happy family moments as well as the frustrated tantrums, the confused conversations and the social inappropriatenesses.

In 2017, he released his final album, "Adios," which included many of his favorite songs by other artists.

"Music utilizes all of the brain, not just one little section of it," Campbell’s wife, Kim, told Rolling Stone. "Everything's firing all at once. It's really stimulating and probably helped him plateau and not progress as quickly as he might have. I could tell from his spirits that it was good for him. It made him really happy. It was good for the whole family to continue touring and to just keep living our lives. And we hope it encourages other people to do the same."


Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia