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Singers, Take Care Of Your Voices - Part II

May 15. 2015

Julie Andrews

This is a follow up to the Judiciary Report article "Singers, Take Care Of Your Voices." Legendary award winning singer/actress, Julie Andrews, famous for the 1965 classic musical film "The Sound Of Music" became a household name for her golden voice and compelling acting abilities. The soprano began to experience vocal trouble for which she sought medical treatment.

 

"The Sound Of Music"

When basic treatment options did not correct the problem, in 1997 Andrews underwent surgery at Mount Sinai in New York, with the hope of halting the damage to her voice. However, Andrews contends the surgery destroyed her already damaged voice. Andrews sued and the case was settled out of court.

Mariah Carey's vocal cords have been repeatedly bleeding at regular intervals for two decades, due to releasing many albums back to back in her favored melismatic style, with little and sometimes no rest between projects. Coupled with drug and alcohol use, Carey's voice is damaged.

Soprano singers such as Mariah Carey belt out notes full throttle to impress audiences and critics, which creates vocal cord damage. Over time it begins to deplete the voice (as does alcoholism and drug use - two other issues Carey struggles with). Doctors have done examinations of singers' throats after such vocally taxing sessions and performances, only to find bleeding vocal cords. If left untreated, over time it leads to permanent damage and the loss of vocal ability (especially upper octave notes).

Damaged, bleeding vocal cords from excessive belting and abrupt vocal changes while singing

Athletes don't perform at sporting event after sporting event with injuries, as they will become permanent if left untreated and not given the chance to heal. Neither should singers sing day after day with damaged vocal cords. The voice needs rest to repair itself as best it can. Illegal drugs and hard liquor should also be avoided. Singers need to evaluate their studio practices and performances very carefully to determine if they are damaging their voices. At the end of the day, your voice is irreplaceable. It is your stock in trade. Take care of it and make wise decisions that will allow your voice to last as long as possible.

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