’80s Music Icon Huey Lewis Debuting New Broadway Show Despite Hearing Loss

Huey Lewis attends
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Huey Lewis, best known for being part of the group Huey Lewis and the News, admitted that his latest musical saved his life. His new Broadway musical called The Heart of Rock and Roll features some of his most iconic songs and will debut on April 22, 2024. Lewis helped work on the show despite dealing with some tough hearing loss problems.

In 2018, Lewis was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, an inner ear problem that can cause vertigo and hearing loss. At the time, he was on tour with his band and had to cancel the remaining tour dates due to his problems with hearing. Subsequently, this caused him to suffer from some mental health issues as there is currently no cure for the disease.

Huey Lewis (center) with Full cast and crew of "The Heart Of Rock And Roll" attend "The Heart Of Rock And Roll" Broadway Photo Call at New 42 Studios on March 04, 2024 in New York City

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He revealed, “This [diagnosis] has ruined everything. This has absolutely ruined everything. I try not to let it get me down. In the first two months of this, I was suicidal. I can honestly share that with you. I thought, ‘S—, I’m just going to commit suicide.’ I actually contemplated my demise. You know, like pills, I figured pills were the easiest way to go. I mean, would I have? I don’t know.”

Huey Lewis onstage performing at the United We Stand: What More Can I Give? Concert a music benefit in the Nation's Capital to raise money in support of the recovery efforts from the September 11th attacks on America. The proceeds will go to various relief funds. October 21, 2001

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Now, six years later, he said, “As best you can. You remind yourself there are lots of people out there much worse off than I am. I have two great children who won’t let me feel sorry for myself. And the musical has been huge therapy for me.” As much as fans hope to see Lewis in the musical, it just isn’t possible. He said that he can’t hear pitch good enough anymore despite trying to get back onstage.

Singer Huey Lewis of the band Huey Lewis & the News performs in concert at Citi Field on July 12, 2014 in New York City

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Lewis explained, “I can sing. But I can’t sing to anything. I can’t hear pitch. A bass part sounds like (he imitates what sounds like a hurricane of turntable scratching). It’s all distorted. I can hear there’s music going on. But I can’t hear what it is. When you play a song on a boombox, I can’t tell you what’s on it. I can hear the beat. But I literally can’t recognize my own songs.” The show will premiere at the James Earl Jones Theater in New York City. Will you purchase tickets? Get a sneak peek here:

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1950s Musicals

November 2020

Bright and brassy, toe-tapping musicals from the 1950s

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