LATEST: Foxy Brown has been unable to hear for a staggering six months.

The 26-year-old rapper was diagnosed with sudden hearing loss in May (05) while she was recording her upcoming album, and she is due to have surgery early next year (06) in the hope it will restore her hearing.

At a New York City press conference yesterday (15DEC05), Brown - real name INGA MARCHAND - said, "In May 2005, my life was altered drastically. During my recording of BLACK ROSES, I experienced a sudden hearing loss...

"We take for granted the simple words such as 'I love you', but I appreciate them all... I ask only for your continued prayers and compassion as I embrace the blessings of my journey.

"I am racing to the studio the moment that God affords me the opportunity to hear again."

Brown was accompanied by supporters including Russell Simmons and his wife Kimora Lee Simmons, and her new lawyer JOSEPH FLEMING.

The hip-hop star's former lawyer, JOSEPH TACOPINA, disclosed her hearing loss last week (ends09DEC05) when asked why they had exchanged notes while waiting in Manhattan Criminal Court for her case to be called on an unresolved 2004 assault charge. The two parted ways just days later.