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.
I’ll keep preachin’ until they HEAR me!
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