Why Are So Many Singers Suffering From Vocal-Cord Injuries? A Leading Surgeon Explains

Meghan Trainor.Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Meghan Trainor.
Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Last week, “Dear Future Husband” singer Meghan Trainor canceled her tour for health reasons related to her vocal cords. “I was being careful and taking precautions, but I have hemorrhaged my vocal cord again,” she wrote to her fans on Instagram. “I will need to cancel the remainder of my tour and get surgery to finally fix this once and for all.” Of course, Trainor isn’t the only singer who has had to cancel tour dates because of fragile pipes. Between Adele, John Mayer, R. Kelly, and Sam Smith, artists canceling tours to treat their vocal cords appears to be happening more and more these days. But why, exactly? To get some answers, Vulture reached out to Steven M. Zeitels, the famed surgeon and director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center who has treated everyone from Adele and Sam Smith to Steven Tyler and Julie Andrews. He walked us through the future of voice management.

There aren’t necessarily more vocal cord injuries — just greater awareness of when they have occurred.

Vocal-cord issues have always been around, says Dr. Zeitels, but singers used to keep them secret. Nowadays, “the minute somebody is not going to go on, it’s all over the internet. Fifteen years ago, that didn’t happen. People would cancel the show in Kansas, but you didn’t know about it in New York.” As a result, singers today are more willing to acknowledge when vocal injuries have occurred, and feel less shame about admitting it. Full story.

Lauretta Charlton (Vulture) / August 18, 2015

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