Amid ALS diagnosis, John Driskell Hopkins worries about his family

In May this year, John Driskell Hopkins informed fans that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Devastating disease that progressively diminishes muscle function, Zac Brown Band guitarist is aware that he may not be able to play the guitar or sing one day. Still, he worked hard to do what he could with his bad hand to help others, including his wife, Jennifer, and their three daughters, Sarah Grace, and twins Lily Faith and Margaret Hope.

“I, as a father, don’t know what they need yet,” Hopkins said. CBS News. “And I want to be there. I want to impart some wisdom that they could probably use later.”

That’s why Hopkins recorded a “voice bank” of common words and phrases that will help him communicate in the future, should he lose his ability to speak. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that causes him to lose basic skills like walking, eating and talking, and he still has parenting responsibilities.

The singer-songwriter also writes songs to leave his family as part of his legacy.

“I have three that I’m working on that are all directly related to what I’m going through. I was writing a song that’s just ‘I love you forever,'” he reveals, admitting, “I I haven’t finished it – I can’t finish it.”

A big concern for Hopkins is what’s best for his wife Jennifer, who joined him for the interview. He often thinks about what his diagnosis means to his quality of life.

“I worry about what this means for her because I don’t want to ruin her adult life,” he says. “She’s the most beautiful woman in the world. She could find anyone tomorrow. But I don’t want to weigh this one down.”

“And he’s my life – him and my girls,” Jennifer insists, “And he’s got so much to give. Really, the beginnings are aligned for us to be together and we’re meant to go through this together and whatever that brings, whatever. this is our story.

Hopkins even started a charity after being diagnosed: The Hop on a Cure Foundation has already raised over $100,000 for ALS research.

“I’m not a scientist. I won’t be the one with the test tubes and the research,” Hopkins confesses. “I’m someone who has a platform that can explain ‘I can’t play guitar like I used to. I might not be able to sing one day.’ And if I get the chance to spread the word that way, that’s my responsibility.”

His Zac Brown Band mates have been behind Hopkins all along. The group even organized a benefit show in September at the sold-out Ryman Auditorium.

Hopkins first noticed symptoms in 2019. He tells CBS he realized he couldn’t play guitar as well as he used to. He underwent numerous tests before being diagnosed with ALS earlier this year.

50 Classic Country Artists Today’s Fans Should Know

Today’s country music stars owe a debt of gratitude to the legends who shaped and cultivated the genre, beginning in the early 20th century. These 50 classic country artists remain relevant today. Some developed a style that is emulated on country radio today. Others set a bar for vocal talent or songwriting skills.

This list of 50 Influential Classic Country Artists features country music singers who began their careers before 1990. It is ranked by each artist’s current influence on the country music format today, not by lifelong individual impact. Tell us where we were right or wrong Twitter.