Lewis exclusively spoke to PEOPLE at the premiere of 'The Greatest Night In Pop' on Monday
Huey Lewis is opening up about his upcoming Broadway show.
Speaking at the premiere of the Netflix documentary The Greatest Night in Pop on Monday, Lewis, 73, exclusively revealed to PEOPLE that The Heart of Rock and Roll — which opens on April 22 — has been his “salvation” following his hearing loss.
“Well, we're very excited. We've been working on it for a long time,” the singer-songwriter tells PEOPLE in Los Angeles. “I lost my hearing seven years ago, so I can't sing or perform, but I can do this. And boy, it's been a salvation for me personally, and it's really been gratifying.”
Lewis was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease after he heard a sudden roar that no one else heard while backstage at a private show in Dallas in 2018. The condition affects the inner ear and causes vertigo and hearing loss.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
“Musical theater is probably, I think because it's the most demanding, it's also the most rewarding form of artistic expression and it's immensely collaborative,” he adds to PEOPLE. “So we've been working as a group for almost a decade now on this, and very excited to see it all come together.”
Lewis, who sang in the 1985 charity single “We Are the World,” also opened up to PEOPLE about what it was like to take part in the song with fellow stars like Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.
“Well, I was nervous out of my mind, obviously,” Lewis tells PEOPLE. “And one thing I do remember, which is interesting, is that they wanted to do the lead vocal in one pass for the most part because there were, I think, five microphones and they wanted to phase one up while you phase the other out so that the room ambiance matched and everything."
He adds, “and so the first run through Lionel sings, ‘There comes a time,' and then somebody messed up about, I guess Stevie Wonder did first time.”
“So they went back and did it again. And then Stevie Wonder kind of messed it up a little bit, playfully,” Lewis explains. “Then they did it a third time. Then they got all the way around to Al Jarreau and he kind of fooled around, messed up. So they start again.”
The musician tells PEOPLE that he then asked the sound engineer, "’Hey, Humberto, next time somebody messes up, can you let them go all the way through so I can rehearse my line?’ "
"We never got to rehearse on lines in the thing. And Michael was so sweet, he said, ‘That's a good idea,’ ” adds Lewis.
Speaking about his and Jackson's friendship after the song, Lewis adds, "We exchanged messages once or twice. He congratulated me on my next record."
"And I got a note from Bob Dylan that I'll treasure for the rest of my life," he continues. "Sent me just a wonderful note from Bob Dylan. It was a special evening."
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.