Famous Musicians with Deafness Problems
Some of the best musicians in
the world had deafness problems.
If you think that is not possible,
here are a few names you have probably heard of.
The first is Ludwig van Beethoven. You know, that classical
German composer and pianist. At the age of 26, he began to lose
his hearing since he suffered from a severe form of tinnitus
which made it difficult for him to perceive and appreciate
Although there was no high tech gadgets back then to help
with his problem, he used a special rod which he attached to
the soundboard on a piano that he could bit so the vibrations
would then transfer from the piano to his jaw. This was just
one of the many hearing aids he used even when he was almost
But this did not hinder Beethoven from composing. To this
day, musicians and music lovers alike still appreciate his work
as a talented composer and pianist.
Let’s go forward almost about 200 years and surely those who
are reading this are familiar with the group the Beatles. Sir
George Henry Martin who is a British record producer, arranger
and composer also had hearing problems.
He was often referred to as the Fifth Beatle because he was
either the producer or co-producer of all the Beatle’s original
records and played the piano in some of their songs. Unlike
Beethoven, he retired from music due to hearing loss.
Another musician from Great Britain is the singer Peter
Townshend. If you watch CSI, the soundtrack of that series was
from this rock group. Just like Beethoven, Townshend suffered
from tinnitus as a direct result of over exposure to loud music
through the headphones and during concerts.
On the American front, you have Brian Wilson who happens to
be a songwriter, bassist, and singer for the Beach Boys. What
makes this person different is the fact that he was deaf in one
ear not because of any illness. This happened when his father
hit him on the head with a board while he was still young. Like
the other musicians, this did not stop him from being part of
the one best recording band’s in music history.
One song diva, movie star and political activist who also
has deafness problems is Barbra Streisand. At the age of 7, her
doctor diagnosed her with tinnitus. But as we all know, she
still pursued her singing career and even did a few films.
Eric Clapton, known guitarist and singer also has deafness
problems. He like other musicians believes that this was caused
by the loud speakers used during rock concerts. The sad part is
that whether it is acute, mild or severe, permanent damage has
been done and there is no way to reverse the symptoms.
The good news is that there are now treatments available but
its success has varying degrees of reliability.
The musicians that were mentioned here were not deaf when
they were born. They lost it later on in life but even with
such a handicap, this has not stopped them from writing,
producing or playing great music for audiences. If you know
someone who has deafness problems, you can still help them be
successful in life with a little encouragement.