U.S. soul singer Bobby Womack says he has signs of dementia

Wed Jan 2, 2013 2:21pm EST

Bobby Womack speaks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2009 induction ceremonies in Cleveland, Ohio in this April 4, 2009 file photo. Over the weekend Womack told Britain's BBC Radio 6 music station he is beginning to show early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, including trouble remembering names and song lyrics. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk/Files

Bobby Womack speaks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2009 induction ceremonies in Cleveland, Ohio in this April 4, 2009 file photo. Over the weekend Womack told Britain's BBC Radio 6 music station he is beginning to show early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, including trouble remembering names and song lyrics.

Credit: Reuters/Aaron Josefczyk/Files

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(Reuters) - U.S. singer-songwriter Bobby Womack said he is beginning to show early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, including trouble remembering names and song lyrics.

"The doctor said, 'You have signs of Alzheimer's,'" Womack, 68, told Britain's BBC Radio 6 music station over the weekend. "He said it's not bad yet but it's going to get worse."

He added: "How can I not remember songs that I wrote? That's frustrating."

The 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, whose hits include "Woman's Gotta Have It" and "If You Think You're Lonely Now," suffered a number of health problems in the past year.

In March it was disclosed that he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which was later successfully treated, and he also underwent what was termed a "minor heart procedure."

Other recent health issues included prostate cancer, pneumonia and collapsed lungs.

The soul veteran in October won the best album award from the British magazine Q for his 2012 release, "The Bravest Man in the Universe," beating out much younger competition.

Womack got his start in the music business as the lead singer in the soul group The Valentinos, which he formed with his brothers, and played guitar for Sam Cooke.

He also wrote The Rolling Stones' first chart topper in the UK, 1964's "It's All Over Now."

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey, editing by Jill Serjeant and Cynthia Osterman)

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