His band, Huey Lewis and the News, is best known for hit songs from the 1980s, including “The Power of Love,” “I Want a New Drug” and “Heart and Soul.” On April 13, Lewis explained the reason for the abrupt concert cancellations in a statement to his fans, which he posted on Twitter.
In it, Lewis revealed that he’s suffering from Meniere’s disease — which causes vertigo, ringing in the ears and progressive hearing loss — and was advised by doctors to stop performing.
Huey Lewis and The News cancel all 2018 performances. See attached note from Huey. pic.twitter.com/FbWqDlGwnR
— Huey Lewis (@Huey_Lewis_News) April 13, 2018
Despite that sobering announcement, at an appearance on NBC’s “Today” on May 7, the 67-year-old singer admitted he hasn’t quite accepted the possible long-term consequences of his condition.
“I haven’t come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again,” Lewis said. “I’m still hoping I’m gonna get better. They say a positive attitude is important.”
Lewis went on to say that the condition is particularly frustrating because it has only affected him while he’s performing. He can hear during conversation and other-day-to-day activities, but is unable hear properly in the context of a loud concert.
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.
There is currently no cure for Meniere’s disease, but it may improve over time, and Lewis said doctors told him that changes to his diet may help. He has also been working with the Starkey Hearing Foundation on experimental technologies that may help him hear better during performances.