Huey Lewis, 73, is a Grammy-winning singer who rose to fame during his time with his band, Huey Lewis and the News. The group, which consists of a dozen members, was founded in 1979. The 73-year-old’s band is most known for their hit songs “The Power of Love,” “I Want A New Drug,” “Hip to Be Square” and more. Over the years, the band earned one Grammy Award along with a total of five nominations.
In recent years, Huey’s work with music had to take a backseat as he began to suffer from hearing loss. Most recently, he appeared at the premiere of The Greatest Night in Pop on January 29, 2024, and opened up to PEOPLE about his health battle. He revealed that being able to work on the upcoming play, The Heart of Rock and Roll, has been a positive chapter amid his hearing loss.
“Well, we’re very excited. We’ve been working on it for a long time,” he said to the outlet ahead of the show’s April 2024 opening. “I lost my hearing seven years ago, so I can’t sing or perform, but I can do this. And boy, it’s been a salvation for me personally, and it’s really been gratifying.” Amid Huey’s latest red carpet appearance, below is everything to know about his health condition.
Huey Lewis Diagnosed With Meniere’s Disease
Huey Lewis and The News cancel all 2018 performances. See attached note from Huey. pic.twitter.com/FbWqDlGwnR
— Huey Lewis (@HueyLewisNews) April 13, 2018
Huey lost his ability to hear clearly in both ears in early 2018, however, he previously relied on only one year for decades. At the time, he took to social media to release a statement about his Meniere’s disease diagnosis and revealed his what his future in music would look like going forward. “Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing,” he penned at the time. “Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently, making it impossible to find pitch.”
Due to his inability to perform, Huey and his medical team decided to postpone his shows. “[The doctors] agreed that I can’t perform until I improve. Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows,” he added at the time. Huey apologized to his fans and assured them he would to his best to improve his condition. “I’m going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again,” he concluded in the note.
What Is Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere’s disease is a hearing loss condition that occurs in the inner ear, per the Mayo Clinic. Not only can one experience hearing loss with the condition, but they can also suffer from dizzy spells AKA vertigo. Meniere’s can take place at any age, however, it is most likely to occur between the ages of 40 and 60. Although there are some treatments to help someone manage the condition, it is known to be a “lifelong” health battle.
Following his 2018 diagnosis, Huey opened up to Page Six in August 2023 about how his hearing loss took a toll on his mental health. “It’s cacophony for me. It just sounds like noise,” he explained of his condition. “It occurs in all frequencies with harmonics and other things and what happens with my particular hearing loss, is not only is it hearing loss, but it ends distortion to the bottom end.”
After Huey tried many treatments, he began to suffer greatly after “nothing” worked. “I was in a real depression,” he told the tabloid. “I lost 20 pounds. I pretty much stayed in bed, but I have two great kids and they wouldn’t stand for it basically, and I slowly improved.” Huey is a proud dad to his daughter, Kelly Lewis, and his son, Austin Lewis.
How Is Huey Lewis Doing Today?
Most recently, in August 2023, Huey revealed to Page Six that he now wears hearing aids. Huey also admitted that he changed his mindset in order to help cope with his condition. He admitted that “there’s a lot of people out there much worse off than I am and it’s very important for me to realize that. My life is not as great as it used to be but it’s still better than most.”
Three years prior to that, Huey confirmed that although he cannot sing, he still plans to perform in another “creative” capacity. “I enjoy acting,” he said at an event in 2020, per The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, I don’t get a lot of parts because I’m a singer, not an actor — they go to real actors, but I really enjoy it, and if I can’t sing, I need to be creative somehow, so why not?”