Will.i.am health: The Voice judge discusses condition that nearly ruined his career

William Adams was born in 1975 in Los Angeles and raised by his single mother who encouraged him to be unique and to avoid conforming to the tendencies of the other youths in the neighbourhood. Through his mother’s encouragement, Adams set out to take the music world by storm and formed the band known as Black Eyed Peas. The group’s breakthrough album, Elephunk, sold 8.5 million copies worldwide and put Will.i.am on the musical map.

Described by many as a musical genius, his ears for a catchy melody and a insatiable beat led to a musical career that went from strength to strength.

He was among the performers at the Diamond Jubilee Concert held outside Buckingham Palace and became The Voice UK judge in 2012.

His impressive career however was left in doubts after a diagnosis from his doctor for tinnitus.

Adams told The Sun: “I’m 43 and when I went to the doctor and got an ear test, they said to me my ears are that of someone a lot older.”

I don’t know what silence sounds like anymore


Tinnitus is a common condition that involves symptoms such as ringing, whooshing, humming or buzzing in the ears.

Adams revealed doctors told him that the chronic condition will eventually lead to irreversible hearing loss.

“There’s always a beep there everyday, all day, like now. I don’t know exactly how long I’ve had this, but it’s gradually getting worse.

“I don’t know what silence sounds like anymore,” said Adams.

Tinnitus has been described as more of a disease than an illness.

The exact causes of tinnitus are unknown but it has been suggested that it could be a result of some type of change, either mental or physical and not necessarily related to hearing.

First experience of tinnitus may naturally leave people worried or aware of a sound.

Hearing tinnitus for the first time can be quite frightening and it could have major effects to one’s life.

Most people however find their tinnitus does seem to settle down after the initial period.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a method used to help manage tinnitus.

TRT uses sounds at a particular level to try reduce the priority of the tinnitus so that you are able to no longer hear the sounds.

You should speak with your doctor if you suspect you might have the condition and your doctor will refer you to a Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist.

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