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Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Disabilities

Updated on August 29, 2014

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Disabilities

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Hearing Disabilities. Amazing isn't it, because in order for one to be a good musician, you need to hear, because how can you hear the melodies when you are hearing impaired. Sweet are the words and the sounds we hear, but how does a person with hearing disabilities or impairment can even respond to the world when he cant hear any noise. For some, they have been born with the impairment but for majority, it has been a result of serious illness, medicine taken or trauma. In this hub, I will make use of the stories of musicians who succeed in the world of music even though they have hearing disabilities. Some of the famous and great musicians how have hearing disabilities are Ludwig Van Beethoven, Ray Charles and Stevie wonder to name a few.

Helen Keller herself who was deaf blind overcome her disabilities and earned a Bachelor Arts degree has this to say :

  • "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart".
  • "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do".

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Disabilities

Hearing Disability

  • Hearing impairment or Deafness refers to a conditions by which individuals are 100 percent or partially unable to hear/detect or perceive at least some frequencies of sound which are normally heard by same specie as them, specifically in this hub -- human beings.
  • Severity of a hearing disability is "usually ranked according to the loudness which is measured in decibels -- a sound must be before being detected by an individual".
  • Hearing disability is ranked as either mild, moderate, severe or profound.

Two Kinds of Hearing Disability

  • Prelingual deafness is hearing disability that is acquired prior to the acquisition of language which can be a result of any congenital conditions or acquired though infancy
  • Post-lingual deafness is hearing disability that is sustained after the acquisition of language which is maybe due to a disease, trauma or medicine taken

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Disabilities -- Ray Charles

Ray Charles, courtesy of wikipedia
Ray Charles, courtesy of wikipedia

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Disabilities -- Ray Charles

Ray Charles

Ray Charles was an American musician and was a pioneer in the genre of soul music in the 1950s -- rhythm and blues, gospel ad blues and in 1960s -- country and pop music. According to wikipedia "during his tenure with ABC, Charles became one of the first African- American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company". The Rolling Stones ranked ray Charles number ten on their list of the 100 greatest artist of all time. In 2004, and voted him number two on their November 2008 list of "The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time".

Charles started to lose his sight at the age of five and went completely blind by the age of seven due to glaucoma while other say that it is due to an infection because of a soap in his eye.

Born on Sept. 23, 1930 at Albany, Georgia, USA

Died : June 10, 2004

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Hearing Impairment

Ludwig Van Beethoven  courtesy of wikipedia
Ludwig Van Beethoven courtesy of wikipedia

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Hearing Impairment -- Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, was baptised on 17 December 1770 – and died on 26 March 1827. Beethoven is very famous. He was a was a German composer and a pianist and was a figure in the period between the classical and Romantic period in the Western music -- classical. Beethoven remains one of most known and greatest composers plus influential of all time.

The main cause of his hearing impairment was unknown and it was known that he lost his hearing around 1796.

Around 1796, Beethoven lost his hearing and according to the autopsy, he had a distended inner ear.

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Hearing Impairment

courtesy of wikipedia Foxy Brown
courtesy of wikipedia Foxy Brown

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Hearing Impairment

Foxy Brown- Inga Marchand who was born on and was known as Foxy Brown is an American rapper, and is into hip hop music. She lost her hearing due to a rare conditions. She said she is suffering from a severe and sudden sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and she is positive God can help her so that she can hear again. The good thing about this is that she is positive that one day she can overcome her disability through GOD.

Born on September 6, 1978, in Brooklyn, New York City,

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Hearing Impairment

Johnnie Ray, courtesy of wikipedia
Johnnie Ray, courtesy of wikipedia

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Hearing Impairment -- Johnnie Ray

Johnnie Ray - John Alvin Ray who was born on January 10, 1927 -- and died on February 24, 1990 was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Popular for most of the 1950s, Johnnie Ray has been cited by critics as a major precursor of what would become Rock and Roll, jazz and blues music and his vibrant performances.

According to resources he was partially deaf because of an injury sustained at the age of 13 because of an accident and he later performed using hearing aids.

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Disabilities

Steviw Wonder, courtesy of wikipedia
Steviw Wonder, courtesy of wikipedia

Great and Famous Musicians Who Have Disabilities - Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder was born on May 13, 1950 is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. Stevie Wonder is blind from birth. Wonder signed with Tamla records when he was eleven and continues to perform and record for the label. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and won twenty-two Grammy awards -- the most ever won by a male solo artist. On December 1, 2009, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Other Musicians with Hearing Disabilities or Impairment

  1. Brian Wilson, American musician and songwriter with The Beach Boys
  2. Ayumi Hamasaki, Japanese popular singer and songwriter
  3. Rudi Carrell, Dutch popular singer
  4. Ryan Adams, American alternative country artist
  5. Mandy Harvey -- American Jazz singer
  6. William Boyce, British composer
  7. Pete Townshend, British lead guitarist and songwriter with The Who
  8. Evelyn Glennie, Scottish percussionist
  9. George Martin, English bandleader and producer of The Beatles
  10. Gabriel Fauré, French composer
  11. Bedřich Smetana, Czech composer
  12. Danny Elfman, film score composer and former member of Oingo Boingo Lars Ulrich,
  13. Danish drummer in Metallica



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    • alexandriaruthk profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from US

      Thanks for the read and comment dougirog!!

    • dougirog profile image


      7 years ago from London, UK

      Ray Charles still blows my mind today. Bridged the gap between colored Americans almost as much as MJ did. Much love

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Music is amazing, I personally being legally blind, and also having a hearing loss, and requiring the use of hearing aids have had an amazing experince, though I'm still in high school. It has let me meet friends whom I would have otherwise never known, and has introduced me to so many things. Despite being disabled, I can play multiple instruments (mostly brass), and am looking into a career in music. Even with all the other benefits, music is just ridiculously fun! (excuse my spelling if will!) Often I will play my instruments, rather than anything else I could be doing at the time, including (surprise!) videogames. All in all, music is truly wonderful, and everyone should have the chance to learn.

    • profile image

      Mandy Harvey 

      9 years ago

      Disabilities are not sad. It simply means that the person lives in a different way. Experiences life with an outlook that most couldn't understand. For me, I experience music with different senses. I have embraced myself for who I am and I love music.

    • profile image

      Rev. Donna du Bois 

      9 years ago

      There are many more types of disabilities and musicians , One saxophone player had a stroke and had his instrument adapted for use with one hand. Another child genius plays the piano with only 2 fingers on each hand and there is a guitarist that uses his toes rather than fingers to play. I wish you'd research these and add them. They may not aql lbe famous but they are al uniquely talented

    • Jon Green profile image

      Jon Green 

      9 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Interesting hub. Django Reinhardt, possibly the greatest guitarist ever, was also a great example of overcoming disability - he only had two working fingers.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Awesome hub, Helen Keller is so motivational to me. Thanks for sharing and revealing the gifts that people can contribute despite their disabilities. Great job, rating up! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Interesting as they all are and enlightening...


    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      great hub !

    • vox vocis profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice hub! Thumb up for your research!

    • BkCreative profile image


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I didn't know about Foxy Brown - how interesting. We always hear about all the men.

      I remember reading that Stevie Wonder's mom told him that being blind was no excuse - and she meant it.

      This is inspiring. Thanks so much!

    • rprcarz50 profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow , disabilities are so sad. And it is amazing to me how those with disabilities can outperform some of us who do not have any disabilities.

      Anywayz, Great work on this Hub ! Ver well done !


      As Always Also a2z50


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