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It’s no surprise that there are many musicians with tinnitus. Think back to the last concert or live music event you attended. Did you wear earplugs? If not, did your ears ring afterward? This is just one of the signs you may have damaged your hearing. Now imagine being one of the musicians on the stage. Sitting behind the drum set can be extremely loud, registering at around 100 decibels. Guitar players experience around the same, and pianos are typically 60 to 70 decibels.

Sustained exposure to loud sounds is detrimental to your hearing. The constant ringing or buzzing in your ear is called tinnitus, and this is common among musicians. Here are some of the most notable who have shared they have tinnitus.

Famous musicians with tinnitus

  • Brian Wilson – This Beach Boy is almost completely deaf in his right ear. There are several rumors swirling about the cause of his hearing loss. Some claim it comes as a result of a hit from an abusive father or an issue with nerves post-tonsillectomy as a child. Others presume it comes from years of exposure to loud music. Check out the movie Love and Mercy to get a better idea of what it was like for Wilson living with tinnitus.


  • Chris Martin – Coldplay’s frontman is often seen wearing earplugs at his own shows and when he attends other noisy events. While wearing these will help prevent future damage, future, there is no way to undo the damage he incurred over 10 years of rock concerts.


  • Phil Collins – As a solo artist and as a member of Genesis, Collins exposed himself to loud music daily. He stepped away from the spotlight after a specific moment when he heard his left ear lose hearing as a result of poor blood flow to the ear.


  • Eric Clapton – Earlier this year, Clapton shared with several news sources that he has tinnitus. In conjunction with his nerve damage, touring is a struggle, but he hopes to persevere. The rocker was known in the past for his extremely loud guitar riffs and pumping up the volume on his amplifiers.


  • Barbra Streisand – Back in 1985, Streisand sat down with Barbara Walters and discussed tinnitus, which she has suffered from since age 9. As a child, she wanted to hide and shy away from her ailment, but with age, she became a spokesperson for being true to yourself and not being embarrassed by what makes you unique.


  • Pete Townsend – Though he may be better known for his days in the Who, Townsend has done some great work with the Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers non-profit he funded. Townsend proudly wears hearing aids on stage and does his best to get the word out about hearing protection within the music industry.


By: Diana Michel