Peter Frampton Says He’s a ‘Fighter’ Despite Inclusion Body Myositis Starting to ‘Affect the Way I Play’ (Exclusive)

Frampton highlights how it's "humbling" to feel fans' "special love for me when I do a concert"

<p>Myrna M. Suarez/Getty Images</p> Peter Frampton at Madison Square Garden on May 9, 2019 in New York City

Myrna M. Suarez/Getty Images

Peter Frampton at Madison Square Garden on May 9, 2019 in New York City

Peter Frampton hopes fans "appreciate the fact that I’m not giving up."

The legendary singer and songwriter, 74, tells PEOPLE that he's a "fighter" and will continue performing and making music for as long as he can, despite symptoms worsening in his arms and hands due to Inclusion Body Myositis.

The condition is one of a group of muscle diseases known as the inflammatory myopathies, which are characterized by chronic, progressive muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness, according to the National Institutes of Health.

But Frampton isn't letting it stop him.

"When we're on set, we all sit down now because I have to sit down, so my whole band sits down, and it's kind of like we're in the living room, you know even though it's a big venue," he explains, highlighting how fans metaphorically "have this huge pair of arms that are around us on stage and me."

<p>Dia Dipasupil/Getty</p> Peter Frampton on December 07, 2023

Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Peter Frampton on December 07, 2023

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Frampton adds, "It's it's humbling to feel their special love for me when I do a concert. It's pretty incredible."

The "Show Me the Way" singer shares that beyond impacting his ability to stand on stage, the condition also "started to affect the way I play just because of the pressure that I need to press down on the frets."

Frampton first revealed his Inclusion Body Myositis diagnosis in 2019 to CBS This Morning: Saturday. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, doctors identified his condition after a fall onstage in mid-2015.

"I'm thinking of all the times in my life that I have something devastating [that] has happened to my career or in my family or me. I've brushed myself off, got myself up and changed directions," he said at the time.

<p>Joy Malone/Getty</p> Peter Frampton on December 08, 2023

Joy Malone/Getty

Peter Frampton on December 08, 2023

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Part of Frampton's willingness to not give up is to use is position to help advance research into Inclusion Body Myositis, which he tells PEOPLE has been "wonderful" so far.

I started the Peter Frampton Fund at Johns Hopkins [Hospital] for the benefit of everybody that has the disease," he shares, noting how "we have no cure right now" and all of the money raised by the organization is going "to fund drug trials."

Frampton also shares how "the fans have been very, very supportive of the fund" so far, and offers thanks to " all the people that donate all the time. I can't thank them enough."

"They care, you know, they really care," he says of his supporters.

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