Music News

Despite hearing loss, Huey Lewis says he still has “much to be grateful for”

Deanne Fitzmaurice

Deanne Fitzmaurice

Huey Lewis & the News recently released Weather, their first album of original material in nearly 20 years.  It’s quite short, because in the middle of making it, Huey was struck with Ménière’s disease, a disorder which causes his hearing to come and go. But Huey says he still considers himself “a very lucky guy.”

It’s only seven songs because that’s how many we recorded before my hearing crashed,” Huey says of Weather. “But I think it’s some of our best work. I really do.”

Huey explains that he lost 80% of the hearing in his right ear 33 years ago, and then two years ago, he lost the hearing in his left ear, which led to the Ménière’s diagnosis.

“Since that time, I haven’t been able to sing to music,” he explains. “Mind you, my hearing does still fluctuate, and I’m hoping that eventually I can stabilize. That’s the part I haven’t been able to do.” 

Frustratingly, Huey finds that his hearing will return for literally months, only to deteriorate once again.  Initially, he sank into a depression over this turn of events, but he says he finally made a decision to look on the bright side.

“There are lots of people out there, zillions of people, much worse off than I am,” he tells ABC Audio. “I still have much to be grateful for. Overall, I’m a very lucky guy and it’s sometimes hard for me to realize that, but it’s important that I do.”

The whole experience, he says, has made him realize that “health and family is pretty much everything.”

“My depression…was aided greatly by my kids,” he notes. “So my family matters a lot. And there’s nothing like good health. Y’know, health is just so much more important than whatever it is that comes next.”

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