Hearing loss causes Huey Lewis to call off 2018 concerts

FILE PHOTO: Musician Huey Lewis attends the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary screening in the Manhattan borough of New York, NY, U.S., October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo (Reuters)

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rock group Huey Lewis and the News have called off performing this year after singer Huey Lewis on Friday said he has lost most of his hearing and cannot "hear music well enough to sing."

The group, which was one of the biggest acts of the 1980s with hits such as "The Power of Love," "Hip to Be Square" and "If This Is It," had been scheduled to play at least 10 dates this year.

Lewis, 67, said in a statement on the band's website that he experienced severe hearing loss earlier this year.

"The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to find pitch," Lewis added.

The singer said doctors believe he may be suffering from Meniere's disease, an inner-ear disorder that causes vertigo, ringing in the ear and permanent hearing loss.

"I can't perform until I improve," Lewis said about his doctors' advice after seeking treatment from three different clinics.

"Needless to say, I feel horrible about this, and wish to sincerely apologise to all the fans who've already bought tickets and were planning to come see us," Lewis added.

Huey Lewis and the News were scheduled to headline at least six concerts this spring and summer. They were also scheduled to perform at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco as well as open for Jimmy Buffett in Boston and Las Vegas.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey)