AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Sings ‘Back in Black’ in UK

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Brian Johnson performing with Muse at the Reading Festival, August 27, 2017

Just last year, doctors told Brian Johnson, AC/DC’s longtime vocalist, that he could face total deafness if he continued to perform live music with loud bands. Johnson left the band and they filled his spot, temporarily, with Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose.

Johnson’s came out of his self-imposed hiatus for the second time this year yesterday (Aug. 27) when he joined the British band Muse at the Reading Festival in England. And what did Johnson sing? AC/DC’s classic “Back in Black,” of course!

“Thank you so much. Thank you, boys,” Johnson said at the end of the song, giving Muse frontman Matt Bellamy a hug.

Following Johnson’s diagnosis, AC/DC was forced to postpone the last 10 dates of their North American tour. The vocalist issued a statement at that time that said he hoped to be able to resume his performance career eventually. “My entire focus is to continue medical treatment to improve my hearing,” he said. “I am hoping that in time my hearing will improve and allow me to return to live concert performances. While the outcome is uncertain, my attitude is optimistic.”

Related: The inside story of AC/DC’s Back in Black

That he was able to make these recent appearances so soon surprised even Johnson. “I was really moved and amazed to be able to hear music again like I haven’t heard for several years now,” he said, crediting in-ear hearing technology for the improvement in his hearing.

Johnson made his first high-profile return to the stage in May when he teamed with Robert Plant and Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers in Oxford, England, to sing the old Motown hit “Money (That’s What I Want).”

Whether Johnson will make a full-scale return to AC/DC is still up in the air, and the group also lost bassist Cliff Williams, who retired last fall.

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