Jackie Lee Opens Up About Cancer Battle

Mother's Death Inspires New Song "Long Year;" Official Video Reveals Cancer Journey

Editor’s note: Jackie Lee will stage an Instagram story takeover on Friday (May 25).

No rising artist ever anticipates making a comeback when the world is still getting to know their music. But that’s where Jackie Lee, 26, finds himself today.

Since June 2016 and before the age of 30, Lee has quietly faced three cancer battles. And two were his own.

That month, his mother, LaDonna Glee Midkiff, lost her battle with cancer. Then approximately three months later, doctors diagnosed Lee with testicular cancer. Lee says he was on the road writing songs in Cleveland, Ohio with Florida Georgia Line when he first started noticing symptoms of his disease.

“That December I had surgery to remove my cancer,” Lee tells CMT.com. “We did scans and blood work, and everything was clear. I continued with life, and then my girlfriend and I ended up breaking up, and I ended up leaving my record label.”

A year after his mother died, he had a songwriting appointment with hit-makers Sean McConnell (Brothers Osborne’s “Pawn Shop”) and Barry Dean (Little Big Town’s “Pontoon”), and together they wrote “Long Year” inspired by the tumultuous year Lee was handed. At the time they wrote it, Lee thought no one would ever relate to it because it was so singular to his experience.

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