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

Aprilia Rine

Foreigner founder Mick Jones reveals he has been battling Parkinson’s disease for “several years”
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Foreigner founder Mick Jones has revealed that he has Parkinson’s disease, and has been struggling with it for “several years”.

The 79-year-old musician is the last remaining original member of the rock band, and has been unable to perform with them live since 2022 due to health issues. This has, in part, been down to a neurodegenerative disorder – which includes symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, balance problems and slow mobility.

Now, the musician has shared a statement with fans, confirming that he has had Parkinson’s disease for a number of years.

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“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. “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.”

Currently, Foreigner is embarking on a mammoth final tour, fronted by Kelly Hansen. In his absence, bassist Jeff Pilson has taken Jones’ place.

While he is not taking part in the final stretch of tour dates as a full touring member, Jones has come out for a select number of songs at various shows on the tour, joining the rest of the line-up for some of their most famous tracks.

Foreigner formed in New York back in 1976 and comprised Jones, alongside singer Lou Gramm, drummer Dennis Elliott, keyboardist Al Greenwood, multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald and bassist Ed Gagliardi. They jumped to fame with their self-titled 1977 debut album, and are most famed for their tracks including ‘Feels Like The First Time’, ‘Cold As Ice’ and ‘Long, Long Way From Home’.

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Currently, the band have been nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2024. It is their first nomination to be inducted into the Cleveland hall, despite the band being eligible since 2002.

Mick Jones (L) and Kelly Hansen of Foreigner perform in support of the band’s “Foreigner 40” tour at Toyota Amphitheatre on September 1, 2017 in Wheatland, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Earlier today (February 22), renowned producer and stepson of Jones, Mark Ronson led a push to have the band inducted later this year – recruiting members of Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses and Queens Of The Stone Age to encourage fans to vote.

“You want to know what love is? Love is putting Foreigner in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… Foreigner should absolutely be in [there],” Josh Homme said, while Dave Grohl added: “I’ve loved Foreigner since I got their debut record… There’s one drum riff that I have used in more than a few songs.”

Ronson also went on to reshare the post of Jones announcing his battle with Parkinson’s, writing: “I’m so proud and lucky to have grown up with this brave, honest, beautiful man”.

Other nominees for the 2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame include Ozzy Osbourne, Jane’s Addiction, Dave Matthews Band, Oasis, Mary J. Blige, Eric B. & Rakim, Kool & the Gang, Sade, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Sinead O’Connor, Peter Frampton, A Tribe Called Quest and Cher.

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