Foreigner's Mick Jones reveals he has been battling Parkinson’s disease for “several years”

22 February 2024, 16:22

Foreigner's Mick Jones is battling Parkinson's
Foreigner's Mick Jones is battling Parkinson's. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Mick Jones, co-founder of Foreigner, has disclosed his battle with Parkinson’s disease, which he has been grappling with for "several years."

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At 79 years old, Mick Jones, the sole surviving original member of the iconic rock band, has been sidelined from live performances since 2022 due to health challenges, partly attributed to a neurodegenerative condition characterized by symptoms like tremors, stiffness, and mobility issues.

In a recent statement to fans, Jones confirmed his longstanding struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

Amidst Foreigner's extensive farewell tour, fronted by Kelly Hansen, Jones has been absent, with bassist Jeff Pilson filling in his role. However, Jones has made occasional appearances for select songs during the tour, joining the band for some of their classic hits.

“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,” he wrote on social media.

“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,” he added.

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“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.”

Formed in New York in 1976, Foreigner, initially composed of Jones, singer Lou Gramm, drummer Dennis Elliott, and others, rose to prominence with their eponymous debut album in 1977, renowned for hits like 'Feels Like The First Time' and 'Cold As Ice.'

Currently, the band is nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2024, marking their first nomination since becoming eligible in 2002.

Today, Mark Ronson, a renowned producer and Jones' stepson, spearheaded efforts to secure the band's induction, rallying support from members of Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, and Queens Of The Stone Age to encourage fans to vote.