Being a musician and making music that can touch people’s hearts is a challenge itself. Whenever a musician goes on stage and moves the audience with their performance, it is considered as the success of their hard work.
However, there are musicians like Tony Iommi, Phill Collins, and Frank Iero among others with disabilities who don’t let anything stop them from touching peoples’ hearts with their music. Their journey to the top hasn’t been a cakewalk but they always ended their shows knowing they have an important message to the world. Even though they faced discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices, they proved that their disabilities do not impede having success throughout their career.
Here is a list of those musicians who became masters in inspiring others to follow their dreams:
- STEVIE WONDER: The great Stevie Wonder’s condition is called retinopathy, and around ten thousand babies in the world were born with it in the 1950s. Though he wasn’t born with blindness, his retinas weren’t properly developed. He can only see shadows and some shapes which usually helps in creating music. His other senses are much more developed. “I never thought of being blind and black as a disadvantage”, said Wonder during his interview with The Guardian. Known as one of the most successful songwriters and musicians of the 20th century, he is a genius whose life is an inspiration to others.
- PAUL STANLEY: Stanley has a condition called Microtia that consists of malformation of the ear, where it doesn’t develop fully. The singer-songwriter is best known for being the co-founder, frontman, rhythm guitarist, and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Kiss. The malformation in his ear stops him from identifying different sounds. This is one of the reasons he always has his hair down and wears special hearing aids in his daily life.
- RICK ALLEN: Allen is an English drummer who almost lost one of his hands in a terrible car accident in 1984. Even though he went through several surgeries attempting to reconnect his arm, they were all unsuccessful, so doctors decided to amputate it. He modified his drum with an engineer so that he could play it with only one hand. He has played for the hard rock band Def Leppard since 1978. He is also known as “The Thunder God” by fans.
- JASON BECKER: Becker was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at the age of 20, which made him lose his ability to move his body. At first, he wasn’t able to move his legs but slowly he lost his ability to move his hands and speak as well. The disease has deteriorated his body for more than 25 years, but to this day, he plays the guitar. The guitarist communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father and with the aid of a computer, continues composing. In 2012, a documentary titled “Jason Becker: Not dead yet” was made on his story as well.
- TONY IOMMI: Iommi was 17 Years old when he lost the tips of the middle and ring fingers of his right hand in an industrial accident. He underwent a couple of surgeries that weren’t successful and the frustration almost made him quit music and described how he was told, “you’ll never play again”. However, he overcame this issue and designed some finger caps to help him play the guitar, but it was still painful for him. He was the lead guitarist, co-founder, and leader of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Iommi was ranked 25 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” as well.
- LORD LOKHRAED: Lokhraed is considered to be one of the fastest and most skilful musicians in the black metal genre. However, he was born with only two fingers on his left hand, but that didn’t stop him from being a musician. He talked about all the difficulties he faced growing up from being bullied to being lonely, it was then that he discovered music and learned how to play. He is in one of the most important metal bands in France called “Nocturnal Depression”. Aside from being a guitarist, Lokhared is also an author. He published his first book called “Deathcade” in 2006.
- JEFF BECERRA: Becerra was only eighteen years old when he was robbed and the robber shot him in the spine. The bullet damaged his spine so much that he was left impaired and lost his ability to walk. He is a vocalist for death metal pioneers Possessed. He is still one of the most beloved and talented frontmen in the thrash scene and has spent more of his life on a wheelchair than he did on his feet.