Hearing loss threat forces Brian Johnson to quit AC/DC tour

Brian Johnson (AAP)
Brian Johnson (AAP)

Australian rock legends AC/DC are looking for a new lead singer, with Brian Johnson told to stop touring with the band or risk losing his hearing entirely.

They've postponed the upcoming US leg of their Rock or Bust tour, and if it does happen, expect Johnson to sit on the sidelines - presumably with earplugs in.

"Tomorrow's show in Atlanta through Madison Square Garden in New York, NY in early April will be made up later in the year, likely with a guest vocalist," the band said in a statement.

It's been a rough couple of years for AC/DC, with the loss of rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young to dementia and longtime drummer Phil Rudd's ongoing battles with the law.

Johnson has been a member of the band since 1980, replacing original singer Bon Scott after his alcohol-induced death.

Johnson's first album with the band, Back in Black, is the second biggest-selling album in history, with around 50 million copies sold.

A poll of Australian fans noted in the Sydney Morning Herald found almost half think Johnson is irreplaceable, while 22 percent say Jimmy Barnes could do it.