Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins discloses he has ALS

Musician John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band sits for a portrait at his studio in Sandy Springs on Feb. 4, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

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Musician John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band sits for a portrait at his studio in Sandy Springs on Feb. 4, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

He said it’s slow progressing and hopes to perform with the band for ‘many years to come’; tour stop in Atlanta planned June 17

Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins revealed Friday that he has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive, debilitating disease that attacks nerve cells that control muscles throughout the body, and there is no known cure. According to the Mayo Clinic, most people diagnosed with ALS die in three to five years, but some live another 10 or more years.

In a 72-second YouTube video surrounded by his bandmates, he revealed the bad news to the world. “Over the past several years, I have noticed some balance issues and some stiffness in my hands,” he said. “After some 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.”

He said he hopes to continue to perform with the band for “many years to come.”

The video provided a way to donate to find a cure for ALS by texting “HOP” to 345-345.

Hopkins, 51, is an integral part of ZBB, which is currently on tour and will come to Truist Park in Atlanta on June 17.

He plays guitar, banjo and ukulele in the band, and provides trademark background vocals for Zac Brown on their numerous hits.

Last year, Hopkins released a solo album, “Lonesome High.”

“I’ve got some victories on this record and some lonesome moments,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time. “But I’d like to continue to find the brightness in the shade.”