Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath cleared the air after being misquoted in an interview about his hearing.
“I’ve definitely [had] some hearing loss in one ear (think of it as sight as you get older),” he tweeted on Thursday, April 4, denying rumors that he is going deaf. “Thank you to those who are concerned, and I look forward to rockin’ stages around the world.”
In a separate tweet to a fan, McGrath wrote, “Fortunately, I only have mild loss in ear.”
The 50-year-old’s clarification came hours after he said, “I’m deaf now, I cannot hear you” during an interview with DailyMailTV.
“It’s years and years of being on the road and being two feet behind cymbals and drums,” he explained. “So, [from the] 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.”
McGrath — who is still performing after more than two decades— explained that he is “absolutely” worried about his condition and that it’s “scary because” his “job is hearing,” so it’s uncertain what the future holds. “You can’t repair your hearing,” he added. “Once it goes, it goes. You can hope to stop the damage.”
The former Don’t Forget the Lyrics! host also noted that he struggles with doctor’s orders of using “in-ear” hearing aids while he’s on stage. “Fortunately for the new generation, they have in-ears. I’m dumb enough not to use them though,” McGrath said. “I still need the sight, sounds and smells of a concert and that includes the auditory part, but unfortunately, mine’s going.”
McGrath continued: “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 his concerns about his health, the rock star went on to joke about his light-hearted reason for getting into the music industry in the first place.
“It’s funny, I got into music and rock ‘n’ roll not to worry about any of this: business, mindsets, health,” McGrath told the outlet. “I wanted to party, I’m in a band, that’s what you do. 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 multimillion dollar corporation.”
The SiriusXM DJ concluded: “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. … 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.”
McGrath put out six studio albums with Sugar Ray, who he still tours with today, and went on to release a solo album in 2015.