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Foreigner Guitarist Mick Jones Reveals Battle with Parkinson’s Disease

Soon after Foreigner completed their farewell tour, founding guitarist Mick Jones has revealed in an open letter to fans that he's been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past several years.

Jones is the last original member left in Foreigner, who are among the nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year. In recent years, he’s rarely performed with the band, and has now disclosed it’s his struggle with Parkinson’s that has kept him off the stage.

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On social media, Jones wrote, "Fans will have become very aware that for some time now, I have not been performing onstage with the band. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I want everyone to know that I am doing alright. However, I’ve always liked to be at my best when performing onstage, and sadly, at present, I find that a bit difficult. I am still very much involved in the background with Foreigner and remain a presence. Parkinson’s is a daily struggle; the important thing is to persevere and remind myself of the wonderful career I’ve had in music. I thank all the fans who have supported Foreigner throughout the years and continue to attend our concerts — I want you to know I appreciate your support; it always means so very much to me, but especially so at this point in my life."

Jones, who turned 79 years old in December, formed Foreigner in 1976 and has remained the only constant member of the band. He’s co-written most of their greatest hits, including “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” among others. On recent tours, Jones would only come out for a few songs each night, with Bruce Watson serving as lead guitarist in the band.

Despite Jones' diagnosis, the Foreigner brand isn't slowing down anytime soon. Foreigner will be embarking on a co-headlining North American tour with Styx. Following Foreigner’s recent Rock Hall nomination, renowned producer/songwriter Mark Ronson has put together a “Vote Foreigner” campaign video featuring Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Slash, Chad Smith, and Josh Homme.

See Mick Jones' open letter to fans below.

Check out our selection of free stations streaming Foreigner music at

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Article Image: Close-up of Foreigner lead guitarist Mick Jones at a 2016 concert. (Stefan Brending [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey