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Brian Johnson says he's 'horrified' he may lose his hearing, but is not retiring

Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses will be filling in for Johnson at some of AC/DC’s upcoming gigs.

acdc Angus Young, left, and Brian Johnson performing last year. Winslow Townson / AP/Press Association Images Winslow Townson / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

AC/DC FRONTMAN BRIAN Johnson has released an emotional statement to assure fans he’s not retiring.

Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses will be filling in for Johnson at some of the band’s upcoming gigs due to concerns over his hearing.

Last month Johnson was advised by doctors that if he continues to perform at large venues he risks losing his hearing.

In a statement released today, he said:

“While I was horrified at the reality of the news that day, I had for a time become aware that my partial hearing loss was beginning to interfere with my performance on stage. I was having difficulty hearing the guitars on stage and because I was not able to hear the other musicians clearly, I feared the quality of my performance could be compromised.

In all honesty this was something I could not in good conscience allow. Our fans deserve my performance to be at the highest level, and if for any reason I can’t deliver that level of performance I will not disappoint our fans or embarrass the other members of AC/DC. I am not a quitter and I like to finish what I start, nevertheless, the doctors made it clear to me and my bandmates that I had no choice but to stop performing on stage for the remaining shows and possibly beyond. That was the darkest day of my professional life.

Johnson said he is “personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine”.

The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before. Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life’s work. I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice. The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person.

Johnson said he feels “terrible” for disappointing fans, and thanked them and his bandmates for the support they have shown him.

He stated that he is not retiring, noting: “My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that. For the moment, my entire focus is to continue medical treatment to improve my hearing.

“I am hoping that in time my hearing will improve and allow me to return to live concert performances. While the outcome is uncertain, my attitude is optimistic. Only time will tell.”

Read: AC/DC cancels US tour dates as singer warns he faces “total hearing loss”

Read: Here’s why AC/DC’s Aviva gig could be heard all over Dublin last night

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