Zac Brown Band's John Driskell Hopkins Reveals ALS Diagnosis in Video Message to Fans

A member of one of country music's most popular bands announced Friday that he has been diagnosed with ALS.

John Driskell Hopkins, a founding member, songwriter, and bassist for Zac Brown Band, shared in a short video message to fans that he has slow-progressing symptoms identified by neurologists as ALS.

"Over the past several years, I've noticed some balance issues and some stiffness in my hands. After careful analysis by some of the country's top neurologists, I have been diagnosed with ALS. Because my symptoms have been slow progressing from the start, we believe they will continue to be slow progressing going forward," said Hopkins, 51.

RELATED: Zac Brown Trades Politics and Experimentation for 'Masterpiece Songs' on The Comeback

"God willing, I plan to be rocking with these amazing people for many years to come," he continued.

Hopkins - also known as Hop - is currently on tour with Zac Brown Band until Nov. 19, according to the band's tour schedule. He plays guitar, banjo, and ukulele in addition to providing vocals for the group, and he released a solo album last year called Lonesome High.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: Musician John Driskell Hopkins of Zac Brown Band attends Live Nation
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: Musician John Driskell Hopkins of Zac Brown Band attends Live Nation's celebration of the 4th annual National Concert Week at Live Nation on April 30, 2018 in New York City.  

Michael Loccisano/Getty for Live Nation

In the video, Hopkins and his bandmates asked viewers to donate to ALS research by texting "HOP" to 345-345. Hopkins and his family have established Hop on a Cure, a foundation supporting ALS research to prevent, reverse, and cure ALS while raising awareness and building community.

"The technology and research surrounding ALS research has been advancing, but we still don't have a cure. Thanks so much for your prayers and support in helping us cure ALS," bandmate Zac Brown added.

Never miss a story - sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

ALS, also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a nervous system disease that weakens the muscles and impacts physical mobility, according to the ALS Association. The disease causes nerve cells to break down, reducing functioning in the muscles.

The prognosis for people diagnosed with ALS is death within three to five years, although there are documented cases of patients living past 10 years with the illness.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Entertainment