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6 Rock ‘N Roll Celebrities That Struggle With Hearing Loss


Amidst all the glamour which surrounds rock ‘n roll celebrities, there is a not often acknowledge shadow—the fact that many of them struggle with hearing loss.

In fact, we have compiled a list of 6 legendary rockers who struggle with hearing loss, along with their recommendations and our audiologists advice on how to address any hearing loss you may be struggling with at this time.

1. Ozzy Osbourne

Sometimes called the Godfather of heavy metal, Ozzy Osbourne has been a cultural icon, starting with his time performing with Black Sabbath to his own independent career. However, he suffers from permanent tinnitus and mild hearing loss. The tinnitus is severe enough that it can drown out sounds Ozzy would prefer to hear.

Ozzy has mentioned that he should have worn earplugs to protect his hearing. However, there are more advanced ways for musicians to protect their hearing, from specialty formulated earplugs which filter sounds to in-ear monitors. Our doctors of audiology can help fit you with these devices to protect your hearing, whether you are an avid concert-goer or a performer.

2. Eric Clapton

Rock ‘n roll musician, singer, and songwriter Eric Clapton has been fairly open about his struggles with tinnitus and associated hearing loss. Still actively performing even though he is 72, Eric has admitted that live concerts are tough with his hearing loss.

With hearing aids fitted by experts, tinnitus and hearing loss can be controlled, thanks to built-in tinnitus support which can be found in many different hearing aids.

3. Brian Wilson

One of the founders of the Beach Boys, while Brian Wilson was still young, he was discovered to have hearing loss in his right ear. The exact cause is unknown, but it did make Brian more protective of the hearing he did have, which is one of the reasons he stopped touring with the Beach Boys.

For those who struggle with single-sided hearing loss, CROS hearing aids exist. These hearing aids allow for sound to be captured on the side with hearing loss, creating a fuller sound profile for the hearer.

4. Sting

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, better known by his performing name Sting, has been open about his hearing loss, but has been quoted saying, “Hearing aids make me hear more than I want!”

Transitioning to using hearing aids can be startling, especially after struggling with hearing loss for a while. It is important that after you receive your hearing aids that you work with our audiologists if you need aural rehabilitation, which will help you re-acclimate to hearing more than you were used to doing.

5. Brian Johnson

Surprisingly, Brian Johnson of AC/DC fame cites his hearing loss struggles to not wearing earplugs during a race rather than his 36 years of performing with AD/DC. However, it also makes sense.

The noise output by race cars can reach 130 decibels (dB), and the threshold for permanent hearing damage begins at 85 dB. So, if Brian wants to try and keep performing, he will need to look into in-ear monitors, which can filter sound and relieve the ear of the pounding rock sounds produced by concert performances.

6. Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend of the Who was part of the rock band which created the Guinness Book of Record for “Loudest Concert Ever” when their performance reached 126 dB. And this measurement was taken 32 meters (104 ft) from the stage!

Due to his prolonged exposure to incredibly loud music, Pete now is very careful with his remaining, as he struggles with severe and progressive hearing loss.

If you suspect that hearing loss is impacting your life or the life of a loved one, contact us to set up a diagnostic hearing evaluation. Our doctors of audiology will be able to assess if hearing loss is present, what has triggered the loss, and more while providing the best solutions to correct the hearing loss.

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