Epidemic In The Music Industry

by Cari Cole


There’s an epidemic in the music industry right now. Three major stars are all having throat surgery within weeks of each other. Adele had surgery last Thursday to stop a vocal hemorrhage  – a recurring problem for her that finally cancelled her world tour. Keith Urban just announced he will undergo throat surgery to remove a polyp growing on his vocal cords followed by extended vocal rest.  John Mayer also had surgery recently to remove a granuloma (enlarged nodule) just above his vocal cord. He is now on complete vocal rest (no singing OR speaking) for one month, and unfortunately granuloma’s tend to grow back ;(. Janet Jackson is having vocal troubles and is cancelling concerts, Christina Perri had vocal damage — What on earth is going on?

Why now? What’s changed? Or… is it simply more acceptable to blame the voice now than it used to be? It’s true that singers have suffered from hemorrhages (Christina Aguilera had one a few years ago), nodules, polyps – matter of fact, most singers in the biz eventually come face to face with the knife. Is this the fated outcome of years in the biz?

As a vocal coach who specializes in vocal problems (well known ENT’s send me artists to work some magic on), little do they know I resort to acupuncture, deep tissue massage of the throat and other alternative remedies – simply because they work where drugs fail.  Poor technique, tension and dehydration are always at the root and other maladies, among them laryngeal reflux, allergies, poor health and diet –  and more often than not – speaking voices that ruin singing voices.

But I know that the bigger problem is that stars are not training the way they should be. And no one around them is supporting them to do so. I deal with labels every day that ignore their singer’s vocal health – it’s the “why-fix-it-if-it’s-not-broken” attitude. But I tell them, they are in for a major loss one day – and there will be millions of fans disappointed and ticket sales revoked. Let alone the healing and realignment process, which can be lengthy. That said – it’s not easy when your vocal cords are your instrument – it’s an art. It’s one of the things I specialize in – and most of the time, few are heeding the call.

Who’s next?

I’ll keep preachin’ until they HEAR me!

Oh – and if you’ve been living under a rock and missed my free video series – check out the last of the free vids here – you’re not going to want to miss this!!

  • So true Cari and way to go for preaching. So unnecessary with good technique, great food and water, rest and for God’s sake stop over singing!! Take care of yourselves out there!

  • I agree totally. It’s pretty sad. health plays a major role and unfortunately many do not take it serious until they can no longer support themselves with their art because they can no longer perform.

    Yesterday I watched heavy D’s recent BET performance and thought about how many artists could never possibly get on, perform vocally and execute the choreography the way he did. Then I watched his interview with Tim Westwood where he discussed they fact that it had been 15 years since he’d performed as such and he rehearsed eight hours every day for six weeks just to prepare. Everyone wants to be great, but unfortunately many don’t realize what it really takes to be that, with longevity. You must take care of yourself.

  • Totally agree. It’s sad that artists can get to the level of achieving their lifelong dreams to then loose the ability to use their instrument for no good reason except ignorance and lack of preparation. With solid technique you can sing with passion, 3 hours a night for 300 dates in a row and have 0 vocal issues. I’ve sung over 1,000 shows in the last few years and never had so much as a sore throat at the end of a long night of singing. I’ve worked with singers who if they sing 3 nights in a row their voice is shot, which is just sad and unnecessary if they got the proper training and did the work. With good training the more you sing the better you sound. When I sing a bunch of shows in a row my voice feels great. Excellent training is essential if you want to have any semblance of a career, probably more-so than any other instrument because of the issues you mention.

    • Yeah Dave, so true thanks for posting!!!

  • Mark Briggs

    Thank you for the article on finishing, found it to be very helpful.

    And your vocal lessons are very helpful as well, I have listened to the first 3
    and intend to go back.

    And your phone conference was also very helpful.

    Mark Briggs

  • michellevalastro

    yes.. I am not a famous singer.. but a cover band singer in the NY area.. just had the surgery.. you are right right right! I also teach.. not an easy mix…but learning proper care and technique is key! AGREED!

  • Zachary Dragan

    we had to read this article for school i though tit was a waist of time

  • Fredrick douglas

    hello fam do you know da way