Rod almost lost his voice

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Rod Stewart was terrified when doctors found a cancerous growth on his thyroid gland during a routine medical check-up 12 years ago.

The singer was told he’d have to undergo a 4-hour operation to remove the tumour, which would involve surgeons cutting through the muscles in his throat.

‘When the initial numbness had worn off, I felt fearful, vulnerable to a degree that I never had before,’ says Rod, 67.

‘The only blessing was that everything happened quickly. Two days after the biopsy, I was driven back to the hospital for an operation.’

Luckily for Rod, his surgery was a success – but doctors had more bad news for him when they informed him his distinct singing voice may never get back to normal.

After a ‘miserable’ six months of waiting to see if his voice would return, Rod took matters into his own hands by doing vocal exercises and getting his band to practice with him every day until he was able to perform again.

‘It was like a daily workout for the voice – one that I still use today – of scales, runs, arpeggios,’ Rod writes in his new book Rod: The Autobiography.

‘The patience and faith shown by those musicians and close friends of mine in that period was extraordinary.’

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Anna Duff