9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You – SpeakStick

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You

21. June 2016

When talking about disabilities, some of you instantly perceived them as limitations. A blind man has created music that changed the course of the industry. A musician with hearing deficiency has composed songs that topped the charts. Are these true? Do these people exist? Yes, they do!

Related: 12 Key Steps to Succeed as an Independent Music Artist

Thanks to these nine musicians who proved disabilities are never hindrances to success. Get inspired with their stories.

  1. Ludwig Van Beethoven 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Ludwig Beethoven might have lived centuries ago but his legacy as a famous music composer is always remembered. Despite the fact that he began losing his hearing, Beethoven continues to compose, play and conduct. And although he became entirely deaf, he did not stop creating music.

A metal rod functions as his ears. One end is attached to his piano soundboard and the other end is where he bites and receives vibration that improves his sound perception helping him create his music.

  1. Rick Allen 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Drumming is really for Rick Allen. He started practicing drums at age five and became expert drummer afterward. He soon played professionally for Def Leppard and fortunately released their first album on 1980.

However, after four years of professional acclaim, Rick had a car accident causing his arm amputation. Although he’s already one handed, he can still make a beat on the other. And with the help of a specially made drum kits, he was able to play drums naturally.

Related: Top 5 Mistakes Aspiring Musicians Make
  1. Ray Charles 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Completely blind since childhood, Ray Charles was commended as music genius and legend by Frank Sinatra for bringing a soulful approach to country music during his time. Aside from being a musician, Ray also appeared in several hit movies like “The Blues Brothers”.

Despite his loss of sight, legend Charles peaks the charts and created hit songs like “Hit the Road Jack” and “Georgia on My Mind”.

  1. Itzhak Perlman 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Itzhak Perlman suffered polio at age four that triggers the loss of use of his legs. Originally from Israel, where he first learned violin, Itzhak and family migrated to the United States, where he received two celebrated awards from President Ronald Reagan and President Bill Clinton. 

Traveling places to teach his music, Perlman was recognized as the world’s greatest violinist and “A Citizen of the World”.

Related: 5 Essential Components for Your Home Studio
  1. Teddy Pendergrass 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Teddy Pendergrass became the lead singer for Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes before he suffered paralysis due to a car accident in 1982.

After the car accident that paralyzed him from his chest down, Teddy Pendergrass continued to create music and released albums that took off the charts. He died of cancer.

  1. Jimmy “Little” Scott 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Jimmy Scott was born with Kallmann’s Syndrome. His condition has both positive and negative effect to his career. Since the syndrome prevented him from reaching puberty, his high contralto voice remained that helped him became one of the popular Jazz vocalists of his time.

The syndrome has a profound effect on his psychological and sociological development but instead of mourning about the disability, he sees it as a gift instead of a hindrance and that brings him to success.  He was able to perform with celebrated and established musicians like Lionel Hampton, Lou Reed, and Wynton Marsalis.

Related: 5 Ways to Promote Your Music Online
  1. Michael Bolton 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Do you know that Michael Bolton is deaf in one ear? Maybe some of you have no idea about it. Despite the deficiency, he was able to create and record popular songs like “Gloria” and “How Am I supposed to Live without you?”, and composed songs for several singers like Kenny G and Kiss. Bolton was also known for his heavy metal singing and soft rock ballads.

  1. Tony Iommi 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Young Tony lost the tip of his ring and middle fingers after a sheet metal factory accident when he was 17 years old. He suffered depression making him quit music. However, he was inspired by Django Reinhardt, who has a similar disability, to keep playing. He tried to play with his right hand; however, it never worked for him.

Instead, he used the banjo strings to play his guitar and created artificial fingers using melted plastic bottles to supplement the damaged fingers. He sold over 20 million albums and recognized as a highly influential guitarist.

Related: 6 Truths about Music Marketing Every Musician Should Know
  1. Stevie Wonder 

9 Famous Musicians with Disabilities to Inspire You


Stevie Wonder is innate blind. Despite his lack of sight, he has a great influence on Jazz and country music performers and composers and has a bizarre contribution to the birth of pop and soul music. Since 1960’s, Wonder has inspired musicians with his superb music style.

At 11, he signed with Motown Records and produces over 30 hits that peak the US charts. He garnered the “Lifetime Achievement Award” and has been introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.

These nine musicians never surrendered to trump their desired industry so who are you to complain and give up? 

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Comments (3)

LennyFaces.net ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) on December 06, 2016


no on December 06, 2016

nope, no, nopety no, and nu!

JPhV on June 23, 2016

And the great French pianist michel petrucciAni !!!

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