The American Idol judge's vocal chords were accidentally cut

Paula Abdul has revealed the full extent of a terrible accident that kept her out of the public eye for 6 years.

In 1992, the American Idol judge was a passenger in a plane that made an emergency landing. Three discs in her back ruptured, leaving her with no feeling down her right side.

‘I needed 14 lots of spinal surgery on my neck,’ she explains. ‘I was paralysed and during the 12th operation my vocal chords were accidentally cut.

‘For nearly two years I didn’t have a speaking voice and had to work with a speech pathologist and a vocal coach. It was hard going from hit records to barely croaking.’

Paula, 44, was determined to get well again but it was tough.

‘Rehabilitation was an enlightening experience because it taught me how strong I am,’ she says. ‘I grew up a lot. I got very creative in the hospital and wrote some of my best songs including Spinning Around, which I gave to Kylie Minogue.’