Throat Surgery, A Growing Trend?

Last Wednesday (11/9), Music Editor at the Hollywood Reporter, Shirley Halperin, ran an article titled Adele, Keith Urban, John Mayer: Why Are So Many Singers Having Surgery? Since then, the story has garnered additional media coverage including today’s (11/15) NPR: On Point.

Guests on NPR’s show included Halperin, Voice Center at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Dr. Steven Zeitels (who recently performed surgery on Adele), BU Professor of music Penelope Bitzas, and Pop culture writer Rich Juzwiak.

NPR discusses whether surgery has been an increasing trend among performers, vocal problems that result from the demands of a touring artist, and the state-of-the-art correctional procedures available to reverse damage and maintain vocal health compared to just a few years ago.

“It’s a 24/7 business, and the expectations are more,” says 16-year Sony Music veteran Ken Komisar in the Hollywood Reporter. “So much overuse of a singer’s vocal cords can be extremely detrimental to their ability to perform. We should all be advocates of taking better care of ourselves and our artists.”

Keith Urban‘s polyp on his vocal chord, and Adele’s hemorrhaging polyp are not just coincidences, says Mike Presca for NPR’s On Point, “Singers are pushing the limits of sound, and some are paying the price.”

Earlier this summer (9/29) Rachael Ray praised Celine Dion on her show for changing her life when she recommended her voice doctor, Dr. Gwen S. Korovin, to Ray, ”I had a quick operation, in and out of the hospital in a couple hours, and haven’t lost my voice since.” According to her blog, Ray suffered from a cyst on her vocal chord.

Link here to the Hollywood Reporter and NPR’s On Point (audio at the top “listen to the show”).


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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