In an interview with the BBC’s Gilles Peterson, the 68-year-old revealed he’s had a hard time recalling names and songs. “The doctor said you have signs of Alzheimer’s,” he said. “He said it’s not bad yet but it’s going to get worse. … How can I not remember songs that I wrote? That’s frustrating.”
Earlier this year, while being hospitalized with pneumonia, Womack was diagnosed with colon cancer. In May, he announced he was “cancer free” after having surgery.
The R&B singer-songwriter launched his music career in the early 1960s as lead singer of the group The Valentinos and playing guitar for Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. He penned the Rolling Stones’ first No. 1 hit in the U.K, the song “It’s All Over Now.” He later went on to start a solo career in the late ’60s with a cover of The Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreamin.’” Subsequent hits include “Lookin’ for a Love,” “That’s the Way I Feel About Cha,” “Harry Hippie,” “Across 110th Street” and “If You Think You’re Lonely Now.”