Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath Reveals He's Going Deaf and Needs Hearing Aids After Years of Performing
Mark McGrath is fearful that his days as a performer will soon be numbered after recently learning that he’s going deaf.
The Sugar Ray frontman, who rose to fame in the ’90s with hits including “Fly,” “Someday”, and “Every Morning,” revealed to the DailyMailTV this week that after years of performing with the pop-rock band, he’s starting to lose his hearing.
“I’m deaf now. I cannot hear any more,” he told the outlet. “It’s years and years of being on the road and being two feet in front of cymbals 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.”
“It’s scary because my job is hearing,” he added. “[The future] is absolutely a worry of mine.”
McGrath, who is still currently touring and has live performances scheduled through the end of the year, explained that he’s been urged by audiologists to wear in ears, a type of hearing aid, while he continues to perform.
In ears are often used by live performers so they can hear themselves on stage. Though they’re helpful in blocking out the background instruments, they can be detrimental as they also prevent performers from hearing noises in the room, which can make it sound “dead,” according to The Singer’s Workshop.
Because of that, McGrath said he’s been avoiding the earpieces for years, and subsequently damaging his hearing.
“Fortunately for the new generation, they have in ears. I’m dumb enough not to use them though,” he told DailyMailTV. “I still need the sight sounds and smells of a concert and that includes the auditory part, but unfortunately, mine’s going.”
The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant went on to joke that he pursued music so he wouldn’t have to worry about his health, but his perspective has shifted in the past year.
“It’s funny, I got into music and rock n’ roll not to worry about any of this: business, mindsets, health. I wanted to party, I’m in a band, that’s what you do,” he told the outlet. “And then life catches up to you and reality happens and by the grace of God we became a band, also, I found myself running a multi-million dollar corporation.”
“As I get older, my health’s going, I have knee problems, back problems. So I am working on the hearing now,” he continued. “It’s something that recently last year my doctor said you’ve got to step back a little bit.”
The star also noted that Huey Lewis, from the 1980s and early ’90s pop-rock band Huey Lewis and the News, has served as a “warning” to him after the frontman was recently forced to stop touring due to hearing loss.
“The whole Huey Lewis thing has been a warning for all of this for sure,” he explained. “There’s a lot in play there. It’s one of those things you don’t even want to admit.”
“It’s like if you start losing your hair, you’re like, ‘I’m not losing my hair.’ But hearing is the same way, but it’s something I do have to get on it,” he said, adding that his wife of 7 years, Carin Kingsland, has kept on him about being proactive to prevent further damage.
“You can’t repair your hearing,” he acknowledged. “Once it goes, it goes. You can hope to stop the damage.”
Sugar Ray launched into stardom in 1997 after the release of their hit “Fly.” The group put out six studio albums together and have continued to tour around the nation.
McGrath, meanwhile, released a solo album of his own in 2015. Aside from music, he’s also hosted several television shows including Extra, Don’t Forget the Lyrics, and Killer Karaoke.
In 2018, McGrath appeared as a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother and made it to the finale, but was eliminated in the final eviction ahead of the final two.
McGrath is also dad to 8-year-old twins Lydon Edward and Hartley Grace, whom he shares with Kingsland.