15 Famous Musicians Who Are Dyslexic

musicians who are dyslexic
LOS ANGELES, CA. August 27, 2016: Singer Jewel at the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe at Sony Studios, Culver City. Image from Shutterstock.

Last updated on June 4th, 2023 at 05:03 pm

Most people know that Dyslexia is a reading disability that impedes the ability of a reader to understand how letters and sounds relate to each other. Because of this, most individuals who are diagnosed with dyslexia suffer from poor reading abilities.

While in years past, if someone was diagnosed with a learning disability it was believed that they would not be successful in life. However, with certain interventions and determination, many people with dyslexia go on to live successful lives.

Are you curious about 15 famous musicians who are dyslexic? Read on to learn more!

1. Jewel

LOS ANGELES, CA. August 27, 2016: Singer Jewel at the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe at Sony Studios, Culver City. Image from Shutterstock.

Known for her folk-pop musical sound, Jewel was diagnosed with Dyslexia as a child and struggled her way through reading. Despite this challenge, she learned to play the guitar in high school and has stated that she had to practice “20 times as hard” as everyone else.

2. Carly Simon

carly simon
Carly Simon and James Taylor singing “Mockingbird” at the Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, summer 1980. Image from Shutterstock.

Diagnosed with Dyslexia as a child, Carly Simon struggled with reading to the point that she was made fun of by her peers. However, now with others in her family also diagnosed with the learning disability, she has become a champion by telling people that “children with dyslexia need not feel inadequate.”

3. Lou Reed

lou reed
TRENCIN,SLOVAKIA – JULY 5:Lou Reed performs at the Pohoda Music Festival at the Trencin Airport in Trencin, Slovakia on July 5, 2012. Image from Shutterstock.

Founder of the famous band the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed struggled with reading longer pieces of writing. This did not deter him, however, from learning to love reading so much that he also earned a degree in English in addition to his musical talent.

4. Cher

Cher at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘The Promise’ held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, USA on April 12, 2017. Image from Shutterstock.

From an early age in elementary school, Cher struggled to keep up with her classes and assignments. Being diagnosed with dyslexia, and eventually dropping out of high school did not stop her from pursuing her dreams of becoming a singer, songwriter, actress, and advocate for those with learning differences.

5. Gwen Stefani

gwen stefani
LOS ANGELES – JUN 09: Gwen Stefani arrives for AFI Lifetime Achievement Gala on June 09, 2022 in Hollywood, CA. Image from Shutterstock.

Although the famous singer and songwriter Gwen Stefani was only diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult, she claims that it has helped her to understand her struggles as a child. With her children having some of the same learning difficulties as she has, she has been better able to help them since she has lived through it.

6. Joss Stone

joss stone
Rio de Janeiro, September 29, 2011. Singer Joss Stone, during the presentation of her show at Rock in Rio 2011, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image from Shutterstock.

British singer and songwriter Joss Stone has always been forthcoming with her struggles with dyslexia even from an early age. She started her career as a singer when she was only a teenager because she wanted to have a job, but knew that because of her dyslexia, she would struggle with a traditional one.

7. Mick Fleetwood

mick fleetwood
BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 26 :The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band plays on the Crossroads stage at the 2016 Byron Bay Bluesfest. 27th annual Blues and Roots festival. Image from Shutterstock.

Known as one of the founding members of the famous band Fleetwood Mac, drummer Mick Fleetwood went undiagnosed concerning his struggles with his school work. After being diagnosed, he credits dyslexia to his creativity and massive success on the drums.

8. Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne at Spike TV’s 4th Annual “Guys Choice Awards,” Sony Studios, Culver City, CA. 06-05-10. Image from Shutterstock.

The extremely creative and massively successful heavy metal superstar Ozzy Osbourne has struggled with dyslexia since he was a child. Although he has trouble with reading and writing, he is a true inspiration to others with the diagnosis with his various ways of adjusting such as carrying a tape recorder with him always.

9. Stewart Copeland

stewart copeland
Sacramento, CA – July 17,2008: Drummer Stewart Copeland performs on-stage at the Sleep Train Amphitheater in Marysville, CA with The Police in their North American Reunion Tour. Image from Shutterstock.

Although Stewart Copeland, founder of The Police, grew up in Beirut, he was struggling with his reading so much that he was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia and sent to a prep school in England. Being in an environment where he was able to get the help he needed was a huge help in his current success.

10. Tony Bennett

tony bennett
New York, NY – April 4, 2019: Tony Bennett performs on stage during Jazz Foundation of America benefit concert Great Night in Harlem at Apollo Theatre. Image from Shutterstock.

Known as a singer and songwriter, Tony Bennett has graced fans with his musical talent for more than five decades. The best advice he has for others who struggle with dyslexia is, “To learn something, you have to keep doing it until it appears effortless.”

11. Noel Gallagher

noel gallagher
BENICASSIM, SPAIN – JUL 17: Noel Gallagher (British musician, singer, guitarist, and songwriter) performs at FIB Festival on July 17, 2015 in Benicassim, Spain. Image from Shutterstock.

Noel Gallagher, singer and songwriter from Oasis, has struggled with dyslexia since he was a child. Being the songwriter for the group, he has said that when he initially gave a newly written song to the other band members, they could not make sense of it. This was because he left out some of the words, although he thought they were all there.

12. John Lennon

john lennon
Prague, Czech republic, July 22, 2017: John Lenon in Grevin museum of the wax figures in Prague. Photo from Shutterstock.

When this famous founding member of The Beatles was a child in school, he was known to be somewhat of a troublemaker because he struggled with reading. Although John Lennon scored low on most assignments and exams, he excelled in music and art which led him to one of the most successful bands of all time.

13. Florence Welch

Florence Welch
27-30 June 2019. Rock Werchter Festival, Belgium. Concert of Florence and the Machine Image from Shutterstock.

Despite her diagnosis of dyslexia when she was in primary school, Welch fought hard to excel in her classes. Through her struggles, she found her bliss in singing and went on to find success as the lead singer of the band, Florence and the Machine.

14. Chris Robinson

chris robinson
Oakland, CA/USA: 5/11/2018: Chris Robinson sings with As The Crow Flies. He’s also known for his band The Black Crowes and marriage to Kate Hudson in December 2000. Image from Shutterstock.

This founder of the Black Crowes and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood grew up struggling through his dyslexia diagnosis. While reading and writing was an area of contention for him, he found solace in music and stated, “Music was always something that made sense.”

15. Sir Tom Jones

sir tom jones
LONDON, UK. December 12, 2018: Sir Tom Jones at the UK premiere of “Mary Poppins Returns” at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Picture: Steve Vas/Featureflash.

Known for several hit songs such as “It’s Not Unusual,” Sir Tom Jones has struggled with dyslexia his entire life, although he was not diagnosed until he was a teenager. Although his reading abilities held him back, he went on to lead a successful career as a Welsh crooner and songwriter known to many.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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