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

6 responses to “Famous Musicians with Tinnitus

  1. I am 57 and have played guitar in various bands for almost 40 years. I have had a very high pitched ringing in my ears for several of those years now. I’m so worried it will get worse. I wear earplugs whenever my wife and I go to concerts or to hear local bands perform. I also wear them when mowing the lawn or when using a gas powered weed trimmer. But I’ve noticed that when our grandchildren are playing, if they suddenly scream I can barely take it. It unnerves me, hurts my ears, and makes them ring even more. I guess I should wear earplugs around them too, but then I won’t be able to hear them talking to me. As an electric guitar player, I need to be able to make constant tonal adjustments to my amplifiers. This often means spending hours in front of my amp speaker cabinets listening intensely after every tweak of each tone control. This always results in more pronounced ringing that used to last for a day or two, but now it never goes away! I REALLY do not want to give up performing music, but I also don’t want to lose my hearing. Earplugs seem to muffle out the very tonal ranges I need to be able to hear when playing, so I don’t wear them when performing. I can already see how this is all going to end and I am very worried and depressed about it. Thoughts or advice? Thanks

    1. Hi Barry,

      We recommend seeing a doctor for a full hearing exam to check for any underlying health issues. Audicus does offer tinnitus masking programs for our hearing aids which can help alleviate the symptoms.

  2. Thank you so much for saying this! You’re very kind. Good health always!

  3. Thank you so much.

  4. Hi I’ve had tinnitus for 2 years and when I first got this felt maddening. If there’s any thing positive to say is that
    In time your brain gets accustomed
    To the noise and I have my life back! so Be strong and patient things will go back to normal
    In time.
    Good luck be strong .

  5. From what I have read Tinnitus will probably still be there even when using hearing aids.

Leave a Reply

All fields required, your email address will not be published.

Audicus Membership

access to our experts.
Ask us anything.

Call Us 888-203-1096