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Paul Simon Talks About Hearing Loss in His Left Ear: 'I Can't Hear My Voice' If Instruments Are Too Loud

The 82-year-old musician first revealed his hearing loss in May 2023

<p>Myrna M. Suarez/WireImage</p> Paul Simon

Myrna M. Suarez/WireImage

Paul Simon

Paul Simon is speaking candidly about his hearing loss.

During an appearance at the New York City premiere of his MGM+ docuseries, In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, on Wednesday, the musician, 82, opened up about losing his hearing in his left ear during a Q&A moderated by Stephen Colbert.

“That's come back to enough of a degree that I'm comfortable singing and playing guitar and playing a few other instruments,” Simon said of his hearing. “That's good. I can hear my voice the way I want it in the context of the music.”

However, Simon went on to share that if there’s an instrument that’s too noisy then he struggles to perform.

“If there's a drum or an electric guitar, it's too loud and I can't hear my voice,” he explained to Colbert, who is deaf in his right ear. “But when I first lost the hearing, I couldn't get — it threw me off. Everything was coming from this side. But you know what I'm talking [about].”

<p>Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock</p> Paul Simon speaks to Stephen Colbert in New York City

Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Paul Simon speaks to Stephen Colbert in New York City

Related: Paul Simon Tried to Stop Frank Sinatra from Covering One of His Songs: 'I Said, He Can't Do That'

The Simon & Garfunkel co-founder first revealed his hearing loss in May 2023 during an interview with The Times.

"Quite suddenly I lost most of the hearing in my left ear, and nobody has an explanation for it," he told the publication. "So everything became more difficult. My reaction to that was frustration and annoyance; not quite anger yet, because I thought it would pass, it would repair itself."

The 16-time Grammy-winning singer shared that he lost his hearing while working on his most recent album, Seven Psalms, which was released on May 19, 2023.

<p>Rob Ball/WireImage</p> Paul Simon

Rob Ball/WireImage

Paul Simon

Related: Paul Simon Gets Back in the Studio and Addresses 'Good Friendship' with Former Partner Art Garfunkel in Docu Trailer

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Months later in September, the star said that he was “beginning to” come to terms with his hearing loss at the world premiere of his docuseries, which was directed by Alex Gibney, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“I haven’t accepted it entirely, but I’m beginning to,” Simon told the audience in a Q&A after the screening, per The Guardian.

“I play the guitar every day. It’s the instrument that allows me to express myself creatively. But it’s also where I go for solace. If I’m feeling … ‘whatever’. So it’s a very crucial thing to me,” the performer said. “You know, something happens to you when you have some sort of disability that changes your awareness or changes how you interact with life.”

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