Oh no! Japanese pop artiste Ayumi Hamasaki (浜崎 あゆみ) is going completely deaf.
The 38-year-old songstress, who has been deaf in her left ear since 2008, confirmed that her right ear is weakening. “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,” she wrote on her fan site Team Ayu.
“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,” Hamasaki continued. “I remember wondering how would I as a singer be able to cope with two useless ears. I was in the dark.”
According to various entertainment sites, the J-Pop singer caught an ear infection during her “Act 1” tour in 2001. While doctors advised her to ease her exposure to loud noise, she decided to continue her tour after only a few days in the hospital. And by 2008, she was deaf in her left ear.
But despite her condition, Hamasaki said that she will continue singing and performing. “The stage is where I belong. It’s the only place I really, truly exist. I don’t know anything else,” she added.
Dubbed the “Empress of J-Pop”, Ayumi Hamasaki made her debut under Avex (short for audio, visual, expert) Entertainment at the age of 19. To date, she has released 17 studio album and sold over 50 million records, making her best-selling Japanese solo artiste of all time.