Glen Campbell's Wife Opens Up About Why His Nomination Is So Important

The singer, who has Alzheimer's disease, was honored with a Best Song nod.

February 20, 2015, 11:41 AM

— -- Glen Campbell has been lauded as a country music icon, but now, he's an Oscar nominee too.

The singer was honored with a Best Original Song nomination for "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," the track at the end of the documentary film "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me."

"It's just so wonderful to have Glen acknowledged like this. He's such a great entertainer, a great singer, and this song is him pouring his soul out about what he's going through," his wife, Kim, told ABC News. "It's a song that speaks to me. In my mind, it's like him saying, 'Don't worry about me.' It's sad, but it's also comforting."

Campbell, 71, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011 and now lives in a care facility. His wife said that these days, the singer is doing very well physically but cognitively, he's declined "quite a bit."

"He's lost most of his ability to communicate but he can say short phrases like, 'I love you.' He likes to strum on the guitar a bit, and he still prays -- God and his faith have always been important to him," she said. "He's got a heart of gratitude and a positive attitude. ... He's cheerful and content."

However, though she told him about the nomination, it doesn't seem like he understood what it meant.

"I think maybe if I put one in his hands [he would understand]," she said. "If he could just hold it. I hope it happens."

But whether he wins or loses, she's excited to attend the show with their daughter, Ashley, who also appears in the film, on his behalf and watch their old friend Tim McGraw take the stage to perform the song. However, for her, the night won't be about rubbing elbows with stars: She's also hoping that the nomination helps to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease.

"Our film and 'Still Alice' and others like that are starting a national conversation that needs to be had," she said. "Everywhere we go people come up to us and say when they watch the documentary, their story is being told."

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