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Six Really Famous People with Hearing Loss You’d Never Expect

Hearing Loss

If you suffer from hearing loss, you're not alone! A sobering 48 million Americans suffer from one or another form of hearing loss. In fact, your favorite actor, athlete, or celebrity may suffer from some level of hearing loss. Continue reading to learn more about famous people with hearing loss and a brief description of the type of hearing loss they suffer from. 

Famous People with Hearing Loss: Huey Lewis

While most people recognized him as Huey Lewis, Hugh Anthony Cregg was born in the Big Apple back in 1950. Since then, Huey Lewis has gone on to be a world-renowned Grammy-winning American singer, songwriter and actor. However, back in 2018, Huey Lewis was forced to cancel his remarkable slate of concerts after he was diagnosed with Meniere's disease.

Lewis first became aware of the inner-ear disorder and the resulting hearing loss prior to a show when he was in a hotel room with his band members. Then, all of a sudden Lewis said everything sounded muddled like a blur. While he played the show that night, he struggled to get through it which resulted in him canceling the remaining tour dates. 

Famous Actresses with Hearing Loss: Halle Berry

With striking beauty and timeless appeal, Halle Berry is a staple in Hollywood. The Cleveland native and former beauty queen, transformed her work as a model into a remarkable acting career. She boasts a staggering 44 awards that include an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role as well as Primetime Emmy for portraying Dorthy Dandrige.

Although Halle has long been the picture of perfection, she has Type 1 diabetes, which is a condition that makes her two times as likely to have hearing loss. However, the Type 1 diabetes isn't why she has lost 80% of hearing in her right ear. In 2004, when a former boyfriend assaulted her, she suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) because of the damage to the auditory pathways and ear canals that lead to the brain. 

Famous Musicians with Hearing Loss: Eric Clapton 

Eric Clapton has penned legendary songs like "Tears in Heaven," "Layla," "Wonderful Tonight", and several other international hits that will live on forever. However, the legendary crooner and songwriter revealed during an interview with BBC Radio 2's Steven Wright, "I mean, I'm going deaf…" and that he has been struggling with tinnitus

Tinnitus is the awareness of sound or noise in the ears or head — not from an external sound. While there are multiple types of tinnitus sounds, the most common are:

  • Buzzes
  • Rings, 
  • Whirrs
  • Whistles, and
  • Hisses

Famous Celebrities with Hearing Loss: Whoopi Goldberg

For several years, Whoopi Goldberg has enjoyed an illustrious and long career on screen and on stage. Most people are surprised to learn the Oscar-winning actress' hearing has been severely deteriorated. She explained to the National Enquirer in 2011 that: 

"I attribute my own hearing loss - which, by the way, is suffered by thousands of people in varying degrees - to years and years of listening to music so loudly and so close to the delicate ear drum." 

Today, Whoopi is unable to hear low sounds and tones. As a result, she wears tiny hearing aids underneath her illustrious locks while on the set of The View. In 2015, Whoopi encouraged ear health on The View by explaining:  

"If you have hearing loss, make sure you go and get yourself checked out because...if you can stop it, you should." 

Iconic Musicians with Hearing Loss: Barbara Streisand 

During a conversation with Barbara Walters back in 1985, the legendary Barbar Streisand explained she suffered from tinnitus since the young age of nine. The consistent high-pitched noise often made her feel isolated from other kids. She tried to cope with the noise by wrapping scarves around her head. 

In spite of her hearing loss challenges, Streisand went on to have one of the most successful careers of all time. After being nominated for an astonishing 44 Grammy Awards, she brought home the hardware eight times. To this very day, Barbar Streisand is recognized as one of the most acclaimed songwriters and singers of the 20th century. 

Classical Composers with Hearing Loss: Ludwig Van Beethovan 

Out of all of the musicians who made this list of famous people with hearing loss (or any other list), Ludwig van Beethovan is undoubtedly the most accomplished and popular! While the exact cause of Beethovan's hearing loss is unknown, most suggest it was the result of his habit of dunking his head in cold water to stay awake, lead poisoning, or typhus. In either case, his symptoms of hearing loss started in his late 20s and continued to deteriorate over time. 

How did Beethovan continue to create such remarkable music? Instead of relying on his hearing, he used his mastery to feel vibrations and visualize how the composition of voice tones and instruments would work together. In the last decade of his life, Beethovan was almost completely deaf, but he remarkably created some of his most impressive work, including the 9th Symphony. 

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. Today

As you can see, hearing loss is no respecter of persons, wealth, or fame. However, you don't have to take hearing loss lying down! The experts at North Shore Hearing P.C. offer several solutions designed to help you experience your world with more clarity. 

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. today for a free hearing consultation.

Diane Faulknor, MA, CCC/A

After 18 years of experience in the field of audiology and hearing aid dispensing, I felt it was time to start my own practice which has led to the creation of North Shore Hearing, P.C. I take pride in the care I provide for my patients as hearing is not just a medical issues we need to deal with, but also the social and lifestyle ramifications that people with poor hearing live with on a day-to-day basis. Based on not only your hearing loss, but also the type of lifestyle you lead, we'll work together to fit you with the most appropriate hearing aid available in today's marketplace.