Sugar Ray Singer Mark McGrath Reveals He's Going Deaf
By Jackie Willis
Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images
All the years of performing has taken a toll on Mark McGrath's hearing.
“I’m deaf now. I cannot hear any more,” he told DailyMail TV this week. “It’s years and years of being on the road and being two feet in front of symbols and drums. So high frequencies, I can’t hear anymore. I’ll be listening to people and they’ll tell me their names and I can’t hear anymore.”
McGrath was a household name in the '90s as the front man of the group Sugar Ray, which put out hits including “Fly,” “Someday” and “Every Morning."
“It’s scary because my job is hearing,” the 51-year-old singer noted. “[The future] is absolutely a worry of mine.”
McGrath's hearing loss comes after years of not wearing in-ears, a type of hearing aid, while he performs, though he was urged to do so by audiologists.
It isn't uncommon for singers to take out their ear pieces during performances. According to The Singer's Workshop, a drawback to such a device, which allow you to hear yourself while blocking out background sounds, is "you don’t get any ambient sound in your ears so there’s no room noise. If you aren’t used to the way that sounds, it can feel dead."
“Fortunately for the new generation, they have in-ears. I’m dumb enough not to use them though,” McGrath said. “I still need the sights, sounds and smells of a concert, and that includes the auditory part, but, unfortunately, mine’s going.”
The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant said he was warned about this by Huey Lewis after he was forced to stop touring due to his hearing loss.
“The whole Huey Lewis thing has been a warning for all of this for sure,” he explained. “There’s a lot in play there. It’s one of those things you don’t even want to admit.”
“You can’t repair your hearing,” McGrath added. “Once it goes, it goes. You can hope to stop the damage.”
Despite this setback, McGrath is still touring and has shows scheduled through the end of the year. Here's a look back at his time on CBB: