Huey Lewis And The News have cancelled all of their scheduled 2018 tour dates after their frontman (seated centre in the above photograph) revealed that he is suffering from an inner ear disorder known as Meniere’s disease.
“Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing,” Huey Lewis said in a statement issued on Friday, 13 April. “Although I can still hear a little, one on one and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to find pitch.”
After seeing a variety of ear specialists, including the Mayo Clinic and the Stanford Ear Institute, doctors diagnosed Lewis with Meniere’s disease, which can cause hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo. Doctors also recommended that Lewis discontinue touring until the condition improved.
“Therefore the only prudent thing to do is cancel all future shows,” Lewis wrote. “Needless to say, I feel horrible about this and wish to sincerely apologize to all the fans… I’m going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again.”
Huey Lewis And The News had six shows scheduled for the spring and summer, including a gig at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival, and they were also on board to open for Jimmy Buffett for a stretch of dates.
Lewis’ situation is not the first time Meniere’s disease has affected a rock or pop star. In 2011, Ryan Adams was forced to take a two-year hiatus from touring due to his own battle with Meniere’s disease. “All of a sudden you start seeing double and then my hand starts shaking, and then it’s like you’re in an elevator and the bottom just drops out and your bones feel 1,000 pounds,” Adams told Rolling Stone when he recalled his symptoms during a 2014 interview.