Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Days after forgetting the words to songs he's been singing for five decades, former teen heartthrob and star of The Partridge Family David Cassidy revealed in an interview Monday that he has dementia.
Cassidy told People on Monday that he has been diagnosed with the progressive memory loss disease, which he said has forced him to accept a fate he expected because of the disease's long history in his family.
"I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming," Cassidy said, explaining he was retiring from performing in order to enjoy the rest of his life, rather than struggle with the words to his own songs.
"I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I've been without any distractions," Cassidy said. "I want to love. I want to enjoy life."
Cassidy was affected by his mother, grandmother and grandfather dying from the disease, noting it was particularly difficult to watch his mother "disappear" during the last years of her life.
"I feared I would end up that way," Cassidy said.
Cassidy announced his decision to retire at the beginning of February, citing arthritis making it more difficult to perform and travel. Last weekend, Cassidy played what he billed as the "last two shows that I ever do on the west coast of the United States."
Cassidy's publicist said he will play at least two more shows before calling it a career -- at the Greenwich Odeum in Greenwich, Rhode Island, on March 3, and at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City on March 4.