Home Emotional music Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins Reveals ALS Diagnosis

Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins Reveals ALS Diagnosis


John Driskell Hopkins, founding member and bassist of the Zac Brown Band, announced Friday that he was diagnosed with ALS.

The musician, 51, made the announcement in an emotional video alongside his band members and siblings.

“I have some tough news to share and my siblings have come together to support me,” said Hopkins, also known as “Hop.”

“Over the past few years, I have noticed balance issues and some stiffness in my hands. After careful analysis by some of the top neurologists in the country, I was diagnosed with ALS.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in loss of muscle control. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the baseball player who was diagnosed with it. There is no cure for ALS, and doctors don’t know what causes it, although it can be hereditary.

Hopkins went on to say that he hopes his disease will continue to progress at a slow pace.

“Because my symptoms have been slowly progressing since the beginning, we believe they will continue to progress slowly,” the musician said.

He ended his video message with a prayer to continue making music with the Zac Brown Band.

Georgia On My Mind w/ Amy Grant, Butch Walker, Katie Pruitt, The Lone Bellow - Nashville, TN
John Driskell Hopkins performs onstage for Georgia On My Mind at Ryman Auditorium on May 10, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images

“God willing, I intend to vibrate with these amazing people for many years to come,” he said.

“The technology and research surrounding ALS research has advanced, but we still don’t have a cure. Thank you so much for your prayers and support to help us cure ALS,” said teammate Zac Brown.

Hopkins is a multi-talented musician, playing guitar, banjo, ukulele, and singing backing vocals with his band known for such tracks as “Chicken Fried” and “Toes.” In 2021, he released a solo album, “Lonesome High”.