R&B singer Tank is pushing through some difficult health problems to finish what he says will be his final album.
Earlier this year, the “Maybe I Deserve” singer revealed that he is going deaf in his right ear and losing his hearing in the other. He was also diagnosed with an “extreme case of vertigo.”
Now, the 45-year-old is working on his farewell to the industry with his final album, R&B Money, due to arrive on Feb. 4. This week, Tank told PEOPLE Every Day host Janine Rubenstein that it wasn’t easy adjusting to making music with his newfound health issues, but he was determined to pull through, regardless.
“It was tough at first because now it’s like all the information is flooding one ear,” he said. “That one ear was just like, ‘Hold up, doc, I can’t handle all that,’ and so it took time to get that part of it.”
Unfortunately, his loss of hearing was only one component of his struggles, adding that his vertigo also serves as a major challenge.
“It’s either light or kind of medium, but I do have vertigo pretty much every day,” he revealed.
The singer admits that initially, he had to check in with his engineer to make sure things were still working.
“I was like, ‘How do I sound, do I sound good? Am I good? Am I all right?’ ” he recalls. “He’s like, ‘You sound like yourself.'”
With this new music, including his latest single “I Deserve,” fans get to hear his first attempts at singing with one ear–but going through this final victory lap despite his health complications have Tank overjoyed.
“I’m back on stage… My body has kind of made the adjustment to being able to hear on this one side,” he says. “I know how to operate with the vertigo, so I don’t run into those speakers and then fall off the stage. It’s going pretty good.”
Now, looking back at how this whole issue started, Tank reveals that he knew something was up after a trip to the gym, when he lost his balance and almost fell on his way out.
“I just got completely dizzy … my ear had been clogged, my right ear, and then it just started ringing and everything just sounded like a distorted telephone was coming through that ear,” he said. “And then this ear, my left ear just felt clogged.”
The R&B crooner was working on a movie set at the time, and eventually, it got to a point where he was dizzy beyond control and had to go to a doctor. Multiple tests were run, and eventually, it was discovered that he was experiencing sudden sensorineural hearing loss as a result of tinnitus.
“They don’t know how it happens, they don’t know why it happens, it just happens,” he explains. “They have means to try and treat it that aren’t a hundred percent effective, then they have procedures that you can do to restore your hearing a different way. But once you take those medical procedures, the idea of you hearing naturally is kind of out of the window.”
On the bright side, the love he’s been getting from fans after letting them in on his health struggles has been way more than he ever could have imagined.
“I mean, the support has been a 1,000 percent, man,” he said. “To be able to dial into so many people who are actually going through the same thing I’m going through and just didn’t know how to have the conversation. And so, I brought the conversation to the main stage. I was like, ‘Man, let’s talk about it. Let’s get this out in the open so that we can share, and everybody can lean on each other.’ “
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