Erica Nicole Gets Candid About Her Hearing Loss
(Nashville, TN)--Country newcomer and vocal powerhouse Erica Nicole has exclusively revealed to BILLBOARD her longtime struggle with hearing loss. Maintaining it as a secret for a long time, Erica Nicole, who recently celebrated her first Top 20 single, felt that it was finally time to talk about it.
Nicole reveals to Billboard: "For a long time, I have kept it in the hush hush category about it. Getting to share my story with fans, people should get to know me at my core. I feel guilty that I have kept it a secret for so long, because I think it's something that should be shared with people. I'm able to follow and live my dreams. Hearing impairment doesn't slow me down, and I wouldn't want it to slow anyone down -- whatever your dreams might be."
Nicole’s battle with hearing loss began in her late teens and has led her to become an advocate for the cause and lend her time and talent to charities. She is strongly involved with ECAD (Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities), an organization that is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for those facing such obstacles in their lives in addition to Nashville based Songs For Sound. This non-profit organization was inspired by Rascal Flatt’s lead vocalist, Gary Levox’s hearing impaired niece.
"I want my story to inspire people to never let someone tell them to keep something a secret," Nicole tells Billboard. "Being able to share my story of how I overcame it, how I go into the studio and try to deliver the best vocal that I can -- if that can inspire another child, adult, or a 65-year old woman, I want to connect with those people.”