Chic’s Nile Rodgers believes music is helping his mother Beverly through her battle with Alzheimer’s.
Beverly was first diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease 13 years ago, which is characterized by chronic memory loss and is the cause of the majority of cases of dementia. And speaking to BBC Online, the star revealed although her memory is failing, his mother still remembers the lyrics to her favorite songs.
“Every time we passed any kind of shop that was playing music, she would start to sing,” Rodgers recalled of a recent shopping trip. “Anything that was old, she knew perfectly. So a Frank Sinatra song would come on, or Diana Ross or Barbra Streisand. My mom just nailed it. It was incredible.
“We stopped in front of one store and she was singing so great that people thought she was busking or something,” he laughed.
The 66-year-old, who has been legally appointed his mother’s guardian and is supporting the BBC Music Day initiative to raise awareness about the illness, went on to confess he believes music is helping her fight the disease, as it provokes memories that would previously have been inaccessible to her.
“The way her Alzheimer’s has affected her now is that she’s not deteriorating – or at least the parts that make her very pleasant are not deteriorating rapidly at all. So she’s the life of the party,” the Chic frontman smiled.