Exene Cervenka, frontwoman of legendary punk foursome X, announced
her recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis on Tuesday. Although Cervenka is currently on the road with X on their "Total Request Live" tour
and working towards a solo album slated for a fall release, she says the diagnosis will not affect her commitment to either of these projects. "Although this is obviously unfortunate news, I am choosing to see the positive in it," she said via Bloodshot Records' website.
Cervenka and the rest of X have long supported Sweet Relief
, a charity for uninsured musicians founded by folk artist Victoria Williams upon her diagnosis of MS. "The irony of this is not lost on any of us," Cervenka says. "My focus will certainly be on maintaining my health." X's current tour is raising funds for the charity. "Many people remain strong and continue to live their lives as productively as they had before an MS diagnosis and I plan to be one of those people," Cervenka says.
X was the veritable epicenter of the late-'70s Los Angeles punk explosion, along with peers like The Germs, with whom they shared the Slash imprint. Cervenka met X's future co-vocalist/bassist John Doe
in 1976, and the two eventually formed the group (and got married). Although the band disintegrated in the late '80s after Doe and Cervenka's divorce, they reformed in 1993, releasing Hey Zeus!
and occasionally performing their notoriously frenetic concerts.
Cervenka, who recently turned 53, has worked in numerous projects outside of X, from her country side group The Knitters to the publication of several books.
Last month, Doe told Billboard
that he and Cervenka had written a few songs together that could potentially form a new record, but upon Cervenka's heavy announcement, he promised fans that he and the rest of X would make her health top priority. "We take care of our own," he told Spinner
. "She's got a lot of support and it's all good. We'll take good care of Exene, don't worry."