The Most Popular Musical Talent Who Is Deaf, Ranked

Choose the musical talent you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 24, 2024 07:50
Music has a profound ability to connect people, transcending the barriers of language and, in many inspirational cases, hearing. Deaf musicians have continually demonstrated that the experience and creation of music are not solely auditory pursuits but are also deeply visual and tactile. Recognizing and ranking these artists helps highlight their unique contributions to the music world and encourages a broader appreciation of diversity in musical expression. By participating in the ranking of deaf musical talents, users contribute to a unique appreciation and visibility of these artists. This live ranking not only celebrates their achievements but also fosters a community of supporters and new fans. Your votes serve to affirm the incredible impact these musicians have and inspire upcoming artists who might be navigating similar challenges.

Who Is the Most Popular Musical Talent Who Is Deaf?

  1. 1

    Evelyn Glennie

    A Scottish virtuoso percussionist, Evelyn Glennie has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12. Despite her hearing impairment, she has achieved an international multi-genre career as a soloist and a composer. Glennie performs with her body barefoot during live performances to feel the music better.
    • Instrument: Percussion
    • Awards: Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  2. 2

    Sean Forbes

    An American hip-hop artist who has been deaf since he was a toddler due to a severe illness. Forbes co-founded the Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN) which makes music accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community by producing American Sign Language (ASL) music videos.
    • Genre: Hip-Hop
    • Co-Founded: Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN)
  3. 3

    Mandy Harvey

    An American jazz and pop singer and songwriter, Mandy Harvey lost her residual hearing due to a connective tissue disorder at the age of eighteen. Despite her hearing loss, she has continued her music career using visual tuners and muscle memory. Harvey gained widespread recognition on 'America's Got Talent' in 2017.
    • Breakthrough: America's Got Talent (2017)
    • Genre: Jazz/Pop
  4. 4

    Dame Evelyn Glennie

    Repeating entry for emphasis on her significance in the field, Evelyn Glennie is a renowned solo percussionist who performs internationally. Despite her profound deafness, she has achieved a high level of success and is a leading figure in promoting music accessibility for the deaf community.
    • Instrument: Percussion
    • Awards: Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  5. 5

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    A pivotal figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in classical music, Beethoven began losing his hearing in his late 20s and was almost completely deaf by the last decade of his life. Despite his hearing loss, he continued to compose, conduct, and perform, producing many of his most admired works during these years.
    • Era: Classical/Romantic
    • Notable Works: Symphony No. 9, Moonlight Sonata, Fidelio
    In other topics
  6. 6

    TL Forsberg

    A Canadian singer who identifies as part of the Deaf community, TL Forsberg has a profound hearing loss. Forsberg uses her music to bridge the gap between the Deaf and hearing worlds, incorporating sign language into her performances.
    • Nationality: Canadian
    • Objective: Bridge gap between Deaf and hearing worlds
  7. 7

    Paul Stanley

    The co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Kiss, Paul Stanley has microtia, a congenital deformity where the external ear is underdeveloped. He is deaf on the right side. Despite this, Stanley has had a successful music career spanning several decades.
    • Band: Kiss
    • Condition: Microtia
  8. 8

    Christine Sun Kim

    An American sound artist who has been deaf since birth, Christine Sun Kim uses her work to explore and challenge the politics of sound and language. Kim's art has been displayed in numerous exhibitions worldwide, and she uses performance and drawing to investigate her relationship with sound.
    • Medium: Sound Art
    • Focus: Politics of sound and language
  9. 9

    Beethoven's Nightmare

    The world's only deaf rock band, Beethoven's Nightmare was formed in 1971 in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of three deaf members who play a variety of rock music. They are known for their live performances, which incorporate American Sign Language, visuals, and vibration for the deaf and hard of hearing audience.
    • Formed: 1971
    • Location: Los Angeles, California
  10. 10

    Robbie Wilde

    Known as 'That Deaf DJ', Robbie Wilde has a profound hearing loss in his right ear and a severe loss in his left. Despite his hearing impairment, Wilde has made a name for himself in the DJ world, using technology and vibration to mix music.
    • Nickname: That Deaf DJ
    • Technique: Uses technology and vibration

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular musical talent who is deaf. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or talent is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 106 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each talent once every 24 hours. The rank of each talent is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Musical Talent Who Is Deaf

Evelyn Glennie
Rank #1 for the most popular musical talent who is deaf: Evelyn Glennie (Source)
Many people think that hearing is essential for musical talent. Yet, history shows that deaf musicians can achieve great success. Their stories inspire many and prove that music is not limited by physical abilities.

Deaf musicians often start with hearing. They experience music in a traditional way. Over time, they might lose their hearing due to illness or injury. This loss does not end their musical journey. Instead, it transforms it. They find new ways to connect with music.

Vibrations play a key role. Musicians feel vibrations through their bodies. This allows them to sense rhythm and pitch. They might place their hands on an instrument or stand near speakers. These methods help them stay in tune with the music.

Some musicians rely on visual cues. They watch conductors, other musicians, or even visual representations of music. This helps them stay in sync during performances. Technology also aids them. Devices can convert sound into visual or tactile feedback. This makes it easier for deaf musicians to practice and perform.

Deaf musicians often have a strong sense of rhythm. They internalize the beat and follow it naturally. This skill allows them to perform complex pieces. Their dedication and hard work shine through in their performances.

Many deaf musicians compose their own music. They draw from their unique experiences. Their compositions often reflect their personal journey with sound and silence. This adds depth and emotion to their work. Audiences feel a strong connection to their music.

Collaboration is another key aspect. Deaf musicians work closely with hearing musicians. They communicate through gestures, signals, and mutual understanding. This teamwork leads to beautiful and harmonious performances.

Education plays a vital role. Many deaf musicians attend schools that cater to their needs. These institutions provide specialized training. They offer tools and techniques to help students excel. With the right support, deaf musicians can reach their full potential.

Public perception is changing. People are more aware of the capabilities of deaf musicians. They appreciate the unique qualities they bring to music. This shift in attitude opens more opportunities for deaf artists.

Deaf musicians break barriers. They challenge stereotypes and redefine what is possible. Their achievements inspire others to pursue their dreams, regardless of obstacles. They show that passion and determination can overcome any challenge.

Their influence extends beyond music. They advocate for accessibility and inclusivity. Their work raises awareness about the deaf community. They encourage society to embrace diversity in all forms.

Music is a universal language. Deaf musicians prove that it transcends the sense of hearing. They demonstrate that music is about feeling, expression, and connection. Their contributions enrich the world of music and leave a lasting impact.

In conclusion, deaf musicians show remarkable resilience and creativity. Their stories remind us that limitations can be overcome. They inspire us to look beyond physical abilities and appreciate the true essence of music. Their legacy continues to inspire future generations.

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