Huey Lewis has canceled all upcoming tour dates after revealing that Meniere’s disease has severely damaged his hearing.
The frontman of ’80s hitmakers Huey Lewis and the News announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that his aural troubles have made it “impossible” to continue singing at this time.
In his statement, the 67-year-old explains that the issue came on suddenly, just before the band’s show in Dallas over two months ago. “Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing,” he writes. “The lower frequencies distort violently, making it impossible to find pitch.”
After visits to several research facilities, including the famed Mayo Clinic, doctors and experts agreed that Lewis was suffering from Meniere’s, an inner ear disorder that produces feelings of vertigo, as well as tinnitus (or ringing) and hearing loss.
The cause of the disease is unknown, but symptoms have been known to subside after a time. However, he says, the doctors “agreed that I can’t perform until I improve. Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows.”
After issuing an apology to his fans, Lewis said he intends to make healing his primary goal. “I’m going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again.”
The singer first earned renowned in the mid-’70s during his tenure in Clover, a Northern California band who later backed Elvis Costello on his career-making 1977 debut, My Aim Is True. Lewis found global superstardom himself several years later after the release of Sports, his third album with the News. One of the bestselling rock LPs of all time, the 1983 disc contained four Top 10 tracks including “I Want a New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “If This Is It.”
More hits followed, including “Hip to Be a Square” — which earned a bizarre second life thanks to an infamous scene in the film American Psycho — and “The Power of Love,” which was featured as the theme to the 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future.