Maureen McGovern, 'The Morning After' Singer, Announces Alzheimer's Diagnosis
Singer Maureen McGovern, best known as the voice behind the Oscar-winning song "The Morning After," has announced she's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
In a sentimental video released on her Facebook page at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday — an announcement fans had hoped would be regarding a new tour — the 73-year-old, in voice-over, recounts highlights of her career before confirming, "I've been diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, with symptoms of Alzheimer's and/or dementia."
"What I do, or what I am still able to accomplish has changed," she goes on. "I am no longer able to travel or perform in live concerts. In fact, I can no longer drive — how's that for a kick in the butt?"
Calling her diagnosis a "challenge" that won't "keep me from living my life," the singer talks about how she began having trouble forming words before receiving a diagnosis that was a shock that led to "hopelessness."
But still, she says, "My inner life has not changed. My passion for music, for singing, remains profoundly robust."
Extolling the barrier-breaking attributes of music, she says, "Accepting this new stage of my life, I began to embrace what I have — and let it be."
She goes on to say she'll continue working to bring attention to the field of music therapy in order to "open hearts to common humanity."
"May all your lives be filled with music," she says, bidding farewell with a clip of herself singing the hymn "My Life Flows On (How Can I Keep from Singing)."
Her final words in the moving video: "Be well, be safe, and know that you are loved. Take care."
Along with singing the #1 pop hit "The Morning After" (1972), McGovern sang the Oscar-winning love theme from "The Towering Inferno," "We May Never Love Like This Again" (1974). She sang the hugely popular theme song from the TV series "Angie" (1979-1980), "Different Worlds," and in 1980 was seen as singing nun Sister Angelina in "Airplane!," in which she crooned a righteous version of Aretha Franklin's "Respect."
McGovern enjoyed vibrant musical theater and cabaret careers, and picked up multiple Grammy nominations for her more than a dozen studio albums.