Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath Reveals He's Going Deaf

Mark McGarth - Entertainment Tonight

Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath has unfortunate news. After years of music-making, the lead rock vocalist and television personality claims that he's deaf — or, at least, he claims he's close to it. The musician believes years of performing live concerts have taken away his hearing. Here's the sad personal update provided by McGrath.

I’m deaf now. I cannot hear any more. 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. It's scary because my job is hearing.

As he revealed to The Daily Mail, Mark McGarth has been going deaf throughout the past few years. The 50-year-old musician claims he can no longer hear "high pitch sounds" and he has been advised by specialists to wear "in ears" during his concerts. "In ears" are hearing aids that allow musicians to block out excessive sounds while also feeding music into their eardrums. But McGarth is reluctant to sport these hearing devices, believing they will detract from the live experience.

Fortunately for the new generation, they have in ears. I'm dumb enough not to use them though. I still need the sight sounds and smells of a concert and that includes the auditory part, but unfortunately, mine's going.

With this diagnosis, Mark McGarth admits he is concerned. He is worried what his future can be if he is becoming deaf. As he notes, McGarth's hearing cannot be repaired. When it's gone, it's gone for good. As a result, it's an understandable worry on his conscious, and he's not exactly sure what the future will hold for him.

You can't repair your hearing. Once it goes, it goes. You can hope to stop the damage. It's absolutely a worry of mine. I mean no one's ever coming to hear a high C like a Mariah Carey show from me, thank God. So I'm slowly adding one in ear at a time and taking efforts, but you're right, it's either pay me now, or pay me later.

Despite these concerns, however, Mark McGarth claims he is not going to change his rock 'n' roll attitude on life anytime soon. But as the rock musician is getting older and into his early '50s, he has certainly paid the price — in some respects — for his earlier days. His health beyond his hearing isn't exactly keen. And Mark McGarth has been dealing with other physical toes that prove to be quite taxing.

I got in music to get away from business. As I get older, my health's going, I have knee problems, back problems. So I am working on the hearing now. It's something that recently last year my doctor said you've got to step back a little bit, and the whole Huey Lewis thing has been a warning for all of this for sure. 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. My wife thanks you for reminding me and beating me up on.

Everyone gets older, and we are all met with hardships. But it sounds like Mark McGarth is dealing with many difficulties, particularly some very distressing and critical ones related to his hearing. The future is currently uncertain for the singer/TV personality, but CinemaBlend will be sure to update you.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.