14 celebrities with epilepsy

  • November 23, 2022
  • 5
     
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Get inspired with these stories of celebrities living with epilepsy.  Their stories show that people who have seizures are able to overcome obstacles and excel in music, film, sport - and beyond.  

For many celebrities with epilepsy, telling the world about their condition can be daunting - especially because stigma around epilepsy still exists to this day. But, as these celebrities’ epilepsy stories show, telling the world about the condition can also improve awareness and understanding. 

Here are 14 examples of male and female celebrities with epilepsy.

Elton John lives with epilepsy

Amazing celebrities with epilepsy

Read about famous celebrities living with epilepsy from the worlds of music, sports, and entertainment. 

Music

Here are some world famous musicians living with epilepsy:

Neil Young

Canadian singer Neil Young is best known for classic hits like Harvest Moon and Heart of Gold. He revealed that he was diagnosed with epilepsy as a child in a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, and has also written about the condition in his memoir. 

Adam Horovitz

Better known as ‘Ad-Rock’, Adam Horovitz is a member of classic hip-hop group the Beastie Boys. He has had epilepsy for many years, and even rapped about it in the song ‘Skills to Pay the Bills’: 

“Well, I'm an epileptic, a skept-a-cleptic

I'm cutting up the beats from the bear, I clept it”

Susan Boyle

English singing sensation Susan Boyle is one example of female celebrities with epilepsy. The vocalist first found fame on the TV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. She revealed in a newspaper interview that, “at school I used to faint a lot. It’s something I’ve never talked about. I had epilepsy… All through my childhood they’d say epilepsy is to do with mental function. And now I realise it’s not”. 

Prince

Widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time, Prince is known for tracks like When Doves Cry and Little Red Corvette. The singer, who passed away in 2016, revealed in a 2009 interview that he was born with epilepsy and had many seizures when he was a child. 

Elton John

The British singer and pianist Elton John is one of the highest selling artists of all time -  known for classic tracks like Rocket Man, I’m Still Standing and Tiny Dancer. In a newspaper interview, Elton explained that when he first found fame in the 1970s, he became dependent on drugs and alcohol. This led to him having multiple seizures. 

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne has been one of the most prolific rappers of the last three decades, releasing some 14 albums. The New Orleans-born musician has lived with epilepsy all his life, and has sometimes even had to cancel shows due to his seizures. Read our blog about Lil Wayne to learn more.  

Jinxx

Billboard chart topping Black Veil Brides band member Jinxx also lives with epilepsy. He opened up to us about his experiences - read the interview here

Acting

There are numerous celebrities with epilepsy from the world of film and TV. Here are some actors you may not know have epilepsy. 

Hugo Weaving

Best known for his work in The Matrix and Lord of the Rings, Hugo Weaving began having seizures as a teenager. He told a newspaper he had about one seizure per year from the age of 13 to the age of 40, but then they simply stopped on their own. 

Danny Glover

If you’ve ever watched the crime movie classic Lethal Weapon, you’ll know Danny Glover. The talented actor told the Sharing Miracles TV show that he began having seizures aged 15, which were treated with medication. In his mid-thirties, the seizures stopped on their own. 

Cameron Boyce

Disney Channel rising star Cameron Boyce was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager. Tragically, Cameron’s life was cut short in 2019 when the Grown Ups actor died from a seizure in his sleep, aged just 20. 

Sport

There are numerous sporting celebrities living with epilepsy - and many do amazing philanthropic work to help improve understanding of the condition. 

Alan Faneca

Super Bowl winner and NFL legend Alan Faneca has lived with partial seizures for many years. We caught up with him to learn more about his experiences. 

Chanda Gunn

Ice Hockey pro and Olympic medal holder Chanda Gunn is another example of female celebrities with epilepsy. Chanda, who is an Epilepsy Foundation advocate, has always been open about her seizures. 

Tiki Barber

Another NFL player, Tiki Barber was a running back for the New York Giants for 10 seasons, and now hosts a popular sports radio show. Tiki had epilepsy as a child, but grew out of his seizures around the age of six. 

Marion Clignet

Chicago-born French world cycling champion Marion Clignet won multiple medals and tournaments during her career. Read our interview with Marion, who was diagnosed with generalized epilepsy aged 22, here

We’re written about plenty of other current and former Olympians, NFL players, cyclists and other sports stars in our blog!

As our list of celebrities with epilepsy shows, many people with seizure disorders have overcome obstacles to reach the top of their game. While it might not be possible for everyone to become a world-famous celebrity, we can all draw inspiration from their stories!

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