Ayumi Hamasaki, arguably one of Japan’s most successful pop stars, is now about to go completely deaf.
Hamasaki, who rose to popularity in the 2000s, announced the heartbreaking news in a blog post on Saturday:
“I was told after various hearing tests that my right ear (which has been working overtime to compensate for the deafness of my left ear) is quickly weakening.”
“I was experiencing crippling dizziness. I was unable to walk in a straight line, and was often vomiting in the restroom while at the rehearsal studio.”
It was 2000 when Hamasaki reportedly caught an ear infection during a tour. She was advised by physicians to rest and stay away from loud noises, but she refused.
Since then, her sense of hearing, particularly in the left ear, was completely lost in 2008.
It turns out musicians are four times more likely than the average person to acquire noise-induced hearing loss, according to a 2014 German study. The Straits Times cited pop stars who have had hearing damage, including Chris Martin (Coldplay), Jeff Beck and Will.I.Am (Black Eyed Peas).
For now, Hamasaki needs more support than ever.
“I remember wondering how would I as a singer be able to cope with two useless ears. I was in the dark,” she said.