Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath revealed this week that after years of performing, he’s beginning to lose his hearing, according to People.
“I’m deaf now. I cannot hear any more,” he said. “It’s years and years of being on the road and being two feet in front of symbols and drums. So high frequencies, I can’t hear anymore. I’ll be listening to people and they’ll tell me their names and I can’t hear anymore.”
Looking ahead, he said that having a career that is dependent on perceiving sound makes him worried his outlook as a musician.
“It’s scary because my job is hearing,” he added. “[The future] is absolutely a worry of mine.”
As an active, touring performer, McGrath was advised by audiologists to wear hearing aids called in-ears while on stage.
In-ears enable live performers to hear themselves during a performance, and help block out background instruments.
McGrath avoided them because of the device’s tendency to mute other noises in the room, causing it to sound “dead.” Unfortunately, this led to the singer’s hearing becoming impaired.
He noted that he initially pursued a musical career because he “wanted to party” and ignore issues having to do with business and health. McGrath added that this all changed once the band became famous and he found himself having to run a multi-million dollar company.
The performer remarked that as he has gotten older, he has fallen victim to a number of health issues, such as knee and back problems.
He confessed to finally working on sustaining his hearing, as well as the rest of his well-being. McGrath was prompted by his doctor to step back and take better care of himself, leading the artist to reevaluate his former apathy towards self-care.
“You can’t repair your hearing,” he said. “Once it goes, it goes. You can hope to stop the damage.”
Sugar Ray rose to fame in 1997 following the release of their hit song “Fly.” The band recorded a total of six studio albums together and still tour the country performing popular tracks from their music catalog.
McGrath released a solo album entitled Summertime’s Coming in 2015. He’s also found work as a television host, appearing on several shows, including Extra, Don’t Forget the Lyrics, and Killer Karaoke.
He was recently one of eleven houseguests selected to compete on the first American edition of Celebrity Big Brother in 2018, according to Billboard. He finished in third place and appeared in the show’s second season as a special guest.