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Lucinda Williams Recovering After November Stroke

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 17: Lucinda Williams performs with Buick 6 at the Stone Fox on September 17, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music)

Beloved singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams had a stroke shortly before Thanksgiving 2020. She confirmed the news in an interview with Rolling Stone. However, Williams’ husband/manager Tom Overby affirms that Williams should recover “100 percent.”

Williams, who has plans to play gigs this summer, says, “The main thing is I can still sing. I’m singing my ass off, so that hasn’t been affected. Can’t keep me down for too long.”

She said that on Nov. 17, getting ready to take a shower, she began to have trouble keeping her balance and became unable to walk.

“An ambulance came and got me and we told them not to put the big siren on. We didn’t want to alarm the neighbors or anything. But they put the siren on,” Williams said.

Williams was rushed to Nashville’s Vanderbilt Medical Center, where a blood clot was discovered on the right side of her brain, and she spent a week in the intensive care unit. Williams was transferred to a rehab center for therapy, then was allowed to go home on Dec. 21.

Rolling Stone says that Williams “walks with a cane, has lingering pain in her left arm and leg, and is unable to play guitar.” But according to Overby, her prognosis is a 100 percent recovery, as doctors saw no signs of brain damage.“What happens is your brain gets all… the wires get all crossed and you have to retrain your brain basically, to tell your arm to do whatever it is you’re trying to do,” Williams explained. “So that’s the biggest challenge.”

Willams has enjoyed a busy and celebrated couple of years. Her 2020 album Good Souls Better Angels got two Grammy nods, and she was active last year with her Lu’s Jukebox livestream series. She also covered Sharon Van Etten’s “Save Yourself” and also participated in the star-studded Joe Strummer Tribute.

Post-stroke, Rolling Stone reports that Willams did vocals on the Rolling Stones song “Sway,” for a project helmed by her friend Chrissie Hynde.

The Nashville-based artist has little doubt about performing live by the summer. “I feel good and positive about playing again. We’ve got some shows scheduled with Jason Isbell for late July and we’re planning on doing those,” Williams told RS. “I don’t know if I’ll stand up and sing or I’ll sit down like an old blues person. But we’ll figure it out.”