Paul Simon Health: His Hearing Loss Explained & Updates – Hollywood Life

Paul Simon’s Health: His Battle With Hearing Loss & More

The Grammy-winning icon said he lost most of his hearing in his left ear working on his new album. Here's what you need to know about Paul's health struggles.

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Image Credit: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection

  • Paul Simon is a legendary singer/songwriter whose career began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel
  • 1986’s ‘Graceland’ became Simon’s biggest solo album with the hit single ‘You Can Call Me Al’
  • He revealed he lost most of his hearing in his left ear in 2023

Paul Simon released his latest studio effort, Seven Psalms, in April 2023 at the age of 81. The iconic singer/songwriter, whose career has spanned over six decades, had a bit of shocking news to go along with the album: he suffered major hearing loss while creating it. “Quite suddenly I lost most of the hearing in my left ear, and nobody has an explanation for it,” Paul told The Times. “So everything became more difficult. My reaction to that was frustration and annoyance; not quite anger yet, because I thought it would pass, it would repair itself.”

Paul Simon revealed he suffered major hearing loss in his left ear in 2023. (Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection)

The damage did not repair itself, unfortunately. The “You Can Call Me Al” hitmaker, who teased the new album on his Instagram, said he is now reconsidering playing out in public because of the hearing loss, per the outlet. Let’s learn more about Paul’s health struggles, below.

Paul Simon Diagnosed With Hearing Loss

Paul’s hearing loss diagnosis came shortly after he suffered a rough bout of Covid-19 in 2022, which the Times said “left him physically frail.” The singer agreed, adding, “Boy, have I been beaten up in these last couple of years.”

What Is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss, much like it sounds, affects the ability to hear normally, which is categorized as a hearing threshold of 20 dB or better in both ears, according to the World Health Organization. “The prevalence of hearing loss increases with age, among those older than 60 years, over 25% are affected by disabling hearing loss,” the WHO claims.

There are three types of hearing loss, per the Mayo Clinic. They are Conductive, which involves the outer or middle ear, Sensorineural, which involves the inner ear and Mixed, which is a combination of the two.

How Long Has Paul Simon Been Sick?

As mentioned, Paul was diagnosed with his hearing loss during the recording of his latest album Seven Psalms, which was released in April 2023. Although he has not specified how long he was working on it, he told The Times that the idea for the album came to him in a dream in 2019.

How Is Paul Simon Doing Today?

Paul Simon has won the Best Album Grammy three times. (Everett Collection)

While Paul will likely never regain the hearing in his left ear, he did find a silver lining in the diagnosis. The legendary musician showcased his self-deprecating humor and admitted that it allows him to stop performing songs he’s not that interested in.

“The songs of mine that I don’t want to sing live, I don’t sing them,” Paul told The Times. “Sometimes there are songs that I like and then at a certain point in a tour, I’ll say, ‘What the f*** are you doing, Paul?’ Quite often that would come during ‘You Can Call Me Al.’ I’d think, ‘What are you doing? You’re like a Paul Simon cover band. You should get off the road, go home.’”