Stephen Ball leaves the Ball Brothers
In September 2010, the Ball Brothers announced that baritone Stephen Ball was facing major hearing loss, due to genetic conditions and possibly Meniere’s disease. He consulted with industry-leading experts and pursued treatments. But, treatment or not, it’s quite difficult to face a degenerative hearing condition and remain a professional singer, and Stephen has decided to leave the group. In a press release issued by the Ball Brothers, he stated:
First of all I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. We’ve known for a couple years that my singing days could be limited because of my hearing condition. After struggling with constant migraines over the past several months, I began to pray and ask God for His direction. Following God’s leading, I am resigning from the Ball Brothers. I will file paperwork to change my last name immediately. Okay, maybe the name change is taking things too seriously. All kidding aside, I feel the Lord is leading me into full-time youth ministry. I want to thank Andrew, Daniel, Josh, Gibson and Cody for putting up with me the past six years. I whole-hardheartedly believe in the ministry of the Ball Brothers and will be one of their biggest supporters. I also want to say, “thank you” to all of the friends I have made while out singing.
Lead singer / manager Daniel Ball said:
How do you replace a brother? You can’t! Believe us, we asked Mom and Dad – shared with them stories of Abraham and they just laughed. Although we are all saddened to see Stephen come off the road, we are excited to see the opportunities God is opening for him and us. It didn’t take long for us to know who would be the next member of the Ball Brothers, our long-time friend, Andy Tharp.
Tharp has been singing with Andrew and Daniel Ball in church since they were all younger than ten, and has filled in several times. Daniel Ball commented, “I honestly think we could have saved the trouble of a press release and just swapped Andy as Stephen and most people wouldn’t have known the difference. They look alike and sound alike.” (Trust the Ball Brothers to handle even a situation like this with their trademark flair and humor!)