And the winner for most bizarre news story of the year is…
Zoe Fennessy, by a long shot. Ms. Fennessy suffers from musicogenic epilepsy, which isn’t just a fancy name for “I don’t like Ne-Yo‘s music”. It is a real condition, defined as “reflex epilepsy triggered by certain types of music or even specific frequencies of pitch for which the person’s brain has a low threshold or tolerance.” In Ms. Fennessy’s case, hearing Ne-Yo’s music triggered seizures, and vomiting, and it forced her to walk outside, shop, and do several other outdoor activities with earphones in, constantly. This past summer, Fennessy underwent brain surgery to help eradicate some of the symptoms, but the surgery proved to be futile, and Fennessy and her doctors later opted to remove the majority of Fennessy’s left temporal lobe.
According to the Daily Mail, out of fear of hearing a Ne-Yo song and seizing–or worse–Fennessy hasn’t gone to work in 6 months. Ne-Yo’s music triggering her symptoms dates back to 2011, when his collaboration with Pitbull, “Give Me Everything,” went #1 in England, which is Fennessy’s home. Calvin Harris‘ “Let Go,” and Calvin Maynard‘s “Turn Around” have all triggered Fennessy’s symptoms. Both songs feature Ne-Yo. Her doctors confirm that is in fact Ne-Yo’s voice that is triggering Fennessy’s seizures, “We recognized a few musicogenic seizures arising from the right temporal lobe stimulated by songs sung by Ne-Yo. During her admission she was listening to the radio on [her] iPhone when a specific song came on the radio that triggers her fits (Pitbull x Ne-Yo – Tonight). She called for assistance at this point and she was noted to be shaking and looking rather anxious and acting a bit confused. The following day we deliberately played the song and exactly the same symptoms arose.”
In an interview with Daily Mail, Fennessy described a specific vacation to Majorca, as one of the worst experiences she had to endure. In “every bar” David Guetta‘s 2013 collaboration with Ne-Yo, “Play Hard,” was insanely popular.
Our holiday this year to Majorca was a nightmare. Honestly it was like being at a Ne-Yo concert – the song was everywhere. I had to stay in the hotel room for most of the holiday because it got so bad
Fennessy willingly admits the obvious comedic element of her rare condition, and has this to say about it.
“People might think it is funny – and I can laugh at it myself – but it has taken over my life. It’s ruined my life.”