It was an excruciating decision for [80’s singer and musician] Huey Lewis to have to cancel the tour dates for the rest of the year. His struggles also come at a time when he nearly has a new album finished and there’s a Broadway musical in the works featuring his hits.
He has been touring for decades and can only remember canceling about five shows. Doctors have told him there is no cure for Meniere’s Disease, that Lewis has been in anguish fighting but that it can possibly get better. Lewis described the disease that only affects him while performing, as pure agony.
Meniere’s disease is a disorder that causes vertigo, ringing in the ears and progressive hearing loss.” As I walked to the stage (in Dallas), it sounded like there was a jet engine going on,” he said. “I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t find the pitch. Distorted. Nightmare. It’s cacophony.” This was 2.5 months ago.
Lewis released this statement on April 13: “They don’t know what it is,” he said. “It’s a syndrome based on symptoms, and it affects people differently. All they can come up with as treatment is diet. No caffeine, lower salt and keep your fingers crossed. It can get better. It just hasn’t yet. Even though I can hear you, we can talk, I can talk on the phone — I can’t sing,” he said. “I can’t hear the music. I can do everything but what I love to do the most, which is a drag.”
“I want to say I’m sorry,” he said to his fans. “Clearly we’re not spring chickens, but I’ve always prided myself on being reliable. I really feel bad for my guys, my team that we’ve been doing this for so many years together.”
“I haven’t come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again,” Lewis told Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY Monday. “I’m still hoping I’m gonna get better. They say a positive attitude is important.”
Lewis hopes to one day get back to singing the classics and doing what he does best.
“It’s the most exhilarating feeling in the world,” he said. “It’s the most fun thing in the world.”
Huey Lewis and the News have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide with hits like “The Power of Love,” “I Want a New Drug,” and “Heart and Soul.” After Lewis struggled to hear on stage at a tour stop in Dallas in March, he consulted multiple doctors.
Lewis has also been working with the Starkey Hearing Foundation on experimental technologies that would help him filter out the noise to find the proper pitch. After seeing a variety of ear specialists, including the Mayo Clinic and the Stanford Ear Institute, doctors diagnosed Lewis with Meniere’s disease, which can cause hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo. Doctors also recommended that Lewis discontinue touring until the condition improved.
Meniere’s disease is considered rare. According to the American Hearing Research Foundation, 0.2 percent of the population was believed to have the condition, as of 2012.
Photo courtesy of Bing.com
Ref. The Today Show, MSN/entertainment.com, Rolling Stone.com