Singer Steve Lawrence Says He Has Alzheimer’s Disease

By GQ Pan

Singer Steve Lawrence revealed on June 11 that he has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

In a letter sent by his spokesman Howard Bragman and obtained by People, Lawrence confirmed the diagnosis, saying that he felt he needed to speak out in light of recent rumors and media inquiries.

“I have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s in the early stages. I am being treated with medications under the supervision of some of the finest doctors in the field. Fortunately, they have managed to slow down this horrific process. I’m living my life, going out in public and trying to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends while I am still able to engage and enjoy.” he wrote.

Lawrence said he doesn’t want pity or sympathy in response to his diagnosis.

“I want my beloved fans to know that in spite of this bittersweet moment, what I don’t want is pity or sympathy—I have lived and am living a wonderful, joyous life filled with love, support, and amazing moments. With my beloved Eydie, I had one of the great loves of all time; my career has always been there for me as a source of joy and fulfillment; and you, my fans, have shown immeasurable love and support in ways I only could have imagined.” he said.

“As I continue this journey, I ask for your prayers, your good wishes and implore you to find the joy every day, because what I feel is gratitude, love, and hope—nothing more and nothing less, and I hope you can find the same,” he concluded. “With love, Steve Lawrence.”

The 83-year-old crooner is known for solo hits including the ballad “Go Away Little Girl” and as one half of the 1960s pop duo Steve and Eydie alongside his wife, Eydie Gorme, who died in 2013.

“Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing,” wrote Lawrence on his personal website. “While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of The Greatest Pop Vocalists of All Time.”

Lawrence and Gorme helped keep alive the legacy of the American Broadway songbook at a time when rock became dominant. They were known for their frequent appearances on TV variety and talk shows, in night clubs, and on the stages of Las Vegas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.