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What do Ronald Reagan, Van Gogh and Chris Martin have in common?

If you have tinnitus, you’re not alone. Tinnitus is a fairly common problem, with 7 million Brits experiencing the annoying ringing in the ears. People from all walks of life suffer from tinnitus, celebrities included. As you could guess the majority of noble people with tinnitus are musicians who were exposed to loud sounds often at the early stage of life.

Read through to see who among celebrities has had, or has it. See the reference for the complete list of the celebrities wh tinnitus.


Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in Western art history. Van Gogh's "bizarre behaviour suggests that his tinnitus had become intolerable and that he felt he might alleviate the 'auditory hallucinations' by eliminating their source. Some patients with Meniere's disease experience such overwhelming tinnitus that they would 'cut off their ear' or 'poke a hole in it with an ice pick' to try to relieve it."

David Ryan Adams (born November 5, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, artist and poet. He has released 19 albums, as well as three studio albums as a former member of rock/alt-country band Whiskeytown. Adams suffers from Ménière's disease and tinnitus.

Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough 29 August 1923 – 24 August 2014) was an English actor, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. He was the president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), as well as the life president of Chelsea FC.

Thomas Bangalter (French pronunciation born 3 January 1975) is a French musician, record producer, singer, songwriter, DJ and composer. He is best known as one half of the former French house music duo Daft Punk, alongside Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. It was reported that Bangalter had quit DJing in clubs due to developing tinnitus in 2002, saying, "I've given up because I want to protect my ears."

Geoffrey Arnold Beck (born 24 June 1944) is an English rock guitarist. He rose to prominence with the Yardbirds and after fronted the Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice. Much of Beck's sparse and sporadic recording schedule was due in part to a long battle with tinnitus.

Ludwig van Beethoven (Dec. 1770 – Mar. 1827) was a German composer and pianist. Beethoven remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music; his works rank among the most performed in the classical music repertoire and span the transition from the Classical period to the Romantic era in classical music. Beethoven told the English pianist Charles Neate (in 1815) that he dated his hearing loss from a fit in 1798 induced by a quarrel with a singer. During its gradual decline, his hearing was further impeded by a severe form of tinnitus.

Gerard James Butler (born 13 November 1969) is a Scottish actor and film producer. After studying law, he turned to act in the mid-1990s with small roles in productions such as Mrs Brown (1997), the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and Tale of the Mummy (1998). He had ear surgery as a child that left him with a mangled ear. He still suffers from tinnitus and has hearing loss in his right ear.

Philip David Charles Collins (born 30 January 1951) is an English drummer, singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is best known for his tenure as the drummer and lead singer of the rock band Genesis and for his solo career which began in 1981. The former Genesis drummer and vocalist announced that he will perform live only occasionally to avoid further hearing loss in his hearing damaged left ear.

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (born 2 October 1951), known as Sting, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He was the frontman, songwriter and bassist for the new wave rock band the Police from 1977 to 1984. Sting received 16 Grammy Awards.

Chris Martin, seven-time Grammy-winning band Coldplay is a household name, thanks to their beautiful lyrics and the group’s catchy tunes. Chris Martin, the British band’s lead singer, has risen to fame from the release of the band’s first album in 2000, and with this fame, much of his life has become public fodder. But, what you might not know about this lead singer is that he has had tinnitus for a decade.

William James Adams Jr. (born March 15, 1975), known professionally as (pronounced "Will-I-am"), is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is the founding and lead member of the musical group Black Eyed Peas. In December 2010, said that he suffers from tinnitus.


Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. For much of his adult life, Charles Darwin's health was repeatedly compromised by an uncommon combination of symptoms including tinnitus and depression.


Ronald Wilson Reagan (Feb. 1911 – Jun. 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Mr Reagan's hearing problems date from the 1930s when a .38-caliber pistol was fired near his right ear while he was acting in a movie. Dr House said the impairment ''affects the right ear primarily.''

Bill Clinton was still president of the United States when he got fitted for his first pair of hearing aids back in 1997. At age 51, Clinton decided to get the devices after struggling for years with high-frequency hearing deficiency. He has attributed the problem, like Goldberg, to music — Clinton played the saxophone for years, and he said loud band practices and his affinity for rock and roll contributed to his hearing loss.

John Whitaker Straw (born 3 August 1946) is a British politician who served in the Cabinet from 1997 to 2010 under the Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Straw suffered from tinnitus and depression.

Do you have tinnitus? Did you know that HearingNow clinics offer a free consultations for patients with tinnitus? Click here to book a free tinnitus appointment with our audiologists.

Reference: Wikipedia


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