Huey Lewis Shares Bad News… Says he’s lost most of his hearing: ‘I can’t hear music well enough to sing’
He’s canceling all of his 2018 performances because he can’t hear properly due to Meniere’s disease. Lewis and the News had six shows scheduled for the spring and summer, including a gig at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival, and were also on board to open for Jimmy Buffett for a stretch of dates.
“Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing,” Lewis said on the Huey Lewis and the News band Twitter account. “I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to find pitch.”
Lewis, 67, said he’s been to several major ear specialists, including the Mayo Clinic, looking for answers. He said his doctors believe he has Meniere’s disease, a chronic condition of the inner ear for which there is no cure.
“The doctors…have agreed that I can’t perform until I improve,” he wrote in the tweet. “Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows. Needless to say I feel horrible about this.”
He apologized and promised to concentrate on getting better. He said he hoped that “one day soon I’ll be able to perform again.”
Meniere’s can cause pressure or pain in the ear, severe cases of dizziness or vertigo, hearing loss and a ringing or roaring noise known as tinnitus.
People with Meniere’s will have sudden dizzy spells after experiencing tinnitus or muffled hearing, although symptoms can vary. Some people will experience many attacks over a period of several days, and others will have an isolated attack every once in awhile.
It’s a somewhat mysterious condition, often the result of a viral infection. Most people suffer hearing loss in only one ear, and if it’s caught early it can be treated.
Other musicians and singers who have experienced the disease include Ryan Adams. Adams was forced to take a two-year hiatus from touring due to his own battle with Meniere’s disease. “All of a sudden you start seeing double and then my hand starts shaking, and then it’s like you’re in an elevator and the bottom just drops out and your bones feel 1,000 pounds,” Adams told Rolling Stone in 2014 of his symptoms.
Broadway musical superstar Kristin Chenoweth, and rapper Foxy Brown, also talked about it to People magazine in 2005.
“I have been deaf for four months,” said Brown, then 26, whose real name is Inga Marchand. She said she regretted not acting sooner when she felt her hearing “slipping away,” and sought to help others by speaking out.
Below a transcript of the tweet Huey sent to his fan base announcing the cancellation of the Bands’ tour.
Huey Lewis, April 13th, 2018
“Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing. Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to ﬁnd pitch. I’ve been to the House Ear Institute, the Stanford Ear Institute, and the Mayo Clinic, hoping to ﬁnd an answer. The doctors believe I have Meniere’s disease and have agreed that I can’t perform until I improve. Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows. Needless to say, I feel horrible about this, and wish to sincerely apologize to all the fans who’ve already bought tickets and were planning to come see us. I’m going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again.
The below tweet was sent one day later, an additional statement from Huey:
Huey Lewis, April 14th, 2018
“The response from my colleagues, friends and fans has been truly overwhelming. And extremely heartening. It helps me to focus on improving, and finding a way to sing again. Thanks to everyone”. – Huey
Source: USA TODAY, RollingStone
Image credit: Huey Lewis and the News
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