12 World Famous Musicians with Disabilities

Famous Musicians

The term disability relates itself to any kind of limitation within the activity capacity of an individual. Being disabled in some way is not greater than or less than equal to the term unable to do something.  Disability within an individual is a complex situation as it maybe present from birth or have been acquired though the life span of a person living in conditions- both mental and environmental that are not suitable.

However, as the rise of individualism brought out the best in each, respective of what they were best at, we take a look at people who have taken disability within their stride and contributed to the world of music in ways which awe mankind. Take it from the Past and the Present, from disabilities like Diabetes, Microtia, Blindness, Multiple Sclerosis, these people have made it big.

Ray Charles

Originating from the U.S, this man is famous for his contribution to a beautiful mix in music- from the blues to the gospels. His genre of music is redefined as the 1ST African-American who punched in the country sounds to pop music. This singer, composer, pianist and keyboardist was blind and yet had the life of a musician and a bandleader. Not to mention he could perform the saxophone and trombone equally well. He worked for famous companies like the Warner Bros and Concord. With a variety of public appearances, this man has made it to a sensational popularity. With his blindness not coming in the road to success, he has adapted it all and moved on ahead with a mind blasting career.

Photo by Alan Light

Bret Michaels

Talk about sweet poison, Bret Michaels, suffering from Type1 Diabetes, is the lead singer of the band called Poison. Originating from the U.S, Pennsylvania this man belonged to one of the most famous metal bands of the 80’s. His area of excellence was the glam metal and hard rock genres of music. A lot of his music has been used in movie and productions and studio albums and tv series as well. He has acoustic versions of his songs with a variety in mixes. His music career began with a band in Paris and eventually moved onto what we know today as Poison in the Los Angeles. He had a variety of ventures with celebrities of his time which comprised of various sound tracks by him along with his personal self featuring in those productions as well.

Photo by Wendy C. Photography

Kenny G

After being rejected from the University of Washington’s Music program, this man today happens to be the most famous saxophone player ever.  He redefined the whole notion of jazz in unbelievable manner. His most famous record being breathless, Kenny G is a Grammy winner as well. He plays not only the saxophone but the alto and tenor as well. His most famous labels are Arista and Concord. His disability being asthma isn’t a block on the path of his career as we can see that he has the world record of playing the longest note on the saxophone.

Photo by kktp_

Rick Allen

After a full arm amputation, this man has a custom made custom drum sets so as to not let his disability come in the way of his music career. He plays the snare with his foot and is back on stage with an album that sold more than 20 million copies. Allen fondly known as the thunder god belongs to the English band called the Def Leppard. His areas of excellence are mainly the hard rock and metal genres. Rick Allen started off as a percussionist and is know one of the most famous drummers of the world.

Photo by 12rfrankford

Paul Stanley

Paul Stanley or Stanley Eisen was the famous rhythm guitarist of the rock band Kiss, this man was born with Microtia which is a rare disease where a congenital deformity would make the pinna almost invisible or extremely small. But this disability did not ever stop him from being the incredible musician with a record of 100 million records sold world wide. He has also been the spokesman for About Face, an organization that brings support to individuals with facial differences.

Photo by Steve Gray

Itzhak Perlman

For many in the world Itzhak Perlman has been one of the youngest virtuoso violin players of many great talents. He contracted polio at age 4 but made a quick recovery, speeding into his career as one of the greatest treasures in the world of classical music. He walked with crutches and now he generally uses a scooter to get around. He has been playing the violin for quite sometime now and have been given the title of “Sir” in recent times.

Photo by bo mackison

Edgar Winter

This American blues musician had experimented with multiple instruments and has come with various new and interesting concepts contributing to the world of music. He contracted albinism or extreme sensitivity to light at an early age. Even with his conditions Winter had always made his stage performances in very lit up areas showing where passion rules, there is no stopping of any debilitating disease.

Photo by Carl Lender

Jacqueline du Pre

Jacqueline du Pre was a British cellist who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28. She was one of the greatest players of the cello and was associated with Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor. But her career had to be cut short due to her disease and even led to premature death. Her masterful performance astounded the world and her sudden demise was a great loss in the world of classical music.

Photo by artofspanish

Tony Lommi

Tony Lommi was initially a jazz guitarist who suffered partial amputation of his fingers while working in a sheet metal factory as a teenager. But he was inspired to pursue his career after hearing a record from a similarly injured jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. He wore plastic covers to his damaged areas and played on the guitar. He even played guitar by replacing them with banjo strings creating astounding and unusual music. He later formed the band Black Sabbath creating greater influence all over the world.

Photo by The Brighton Centre

Ludwig Van Beethoven

The master classical pianist and one of the greatest wonders in the world of music was deaf himself for the last 25 years of his life. He started showing his incredible genius at a very early age. Beethoven’s work has and will forever remain one of the finest in the world of classical music. He continued with his incredible work and compositions even through his later stages of debilitating deafness. That really takes the work of the gods to create such incredible music without the function of being able to hear them properly!

Photo by Doc Kazi

Michael Bolton

Famous pop singer, who has influenced the world with his soulful compositions and performances, suffers from deafness in one ear. In fact partial tinnitus or some amount of deafness has been quite a concern for many musicians across the world. Michael Bolton has worked through these conditions in him self and continued being the great musician that he was meant to be, stirring the hearts of millions.

Photo by Heiko_baby


Pop diva and actress, Cher, suffered from dyslexia from an early age. Yet she went on to be this remarkable star that the world has known, overcoming the limitations that we posed in her path. Many talented musicians, actresses and scientists in the world with incredible gifts have had the stumbling blocks of dyslexia or ADD or even learning deficiency in some form or the other. Goes to show that many gifts stay hidden underneath the layers of such initial problems which prove to be simple to overcome when ridden with the passion of riding the dream one is meant to fulfill on earth.

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After a full arm amputation

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Anees is full time blogger, writer and consultant provides tips, guides and articles related to lifestyle, tech, social media and business!

Discussion 5 Comments

  1. Cool says:

    real heroes of life

  2. Onealturtles says:

    i feel bad for you people with disabilities

  3. Lissydoll10 says:

    tessa your retarded lol

  4. Bob says:

    asshole, seriously

  5. Jarvis508 says:

    Who wrote this, a 6 year old who failed English Class? Love the message, but the poor grammar and lousy sentence construction is embarrassing to read on a public site.

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