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Pop Health News and Information

ROD STEWART's battle with throat cancer was his worst nightmare - because he couldn't sing.


The MAGGIE MAY star, Rod Stewart, 58, had to cope with beating the deadly disease and losing his distinctive voice at the same time. 

He says, "I couldn't sing for a year, nothing would come out. The muscles in my throat had literally forgotten how to do it.

"I had to start singing every day, as much as I could. The first few weeks I'd sing a line, and then I 'd go hoarse.

"It was scary. Then I got into a studio and sang loud as I could, until there was blood coming out of my mouth. "

But despite the trauma, Rod kept his spirits up - he adds, "I've had depressing days but you live through them because it's part of life. I've never rushed off to an analyst on a bad day. A bad day is a bad day. "

Stewart, 56, lost his distinctive rasping singing voice for nine months after surgeons cut through his throat muscles to remove a cancerous growth from his thyroid gland. His voice only returned last month. The tumour was picked up during a routine scan at the Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles last April. Stewart had surgery the next day....June 2001


Amy Winehouse's drug addiction is playing havoc with her health. After being diagnosed with a lung condition, the singer is now, suffering from drug-induced heart problems.
Boy George    struggles with his voice after years of drug usage and smoking.
LIONEL RICHIE was thrilled when a holistic doctor diagnosed that he simply had acid reflux, after he endured four painful throat surgeries and feared he would never sing again. The DANCING ON THE CEILING star was devastated when doctors told him he might lose his voice, essentially ending his career. He tells US news show 20/20 when doctors told him he may never sing again, "It was the end of the world. "I know this may sound strange, but if your father's dying you write a song. If your divorce is going bad, you write a song. If your voice goes out..." Richie had four surgeries in four years that were unsuccessful and eventually turned to a holistic doctor for help. The doctor asked him what he was eating before bed and the answer - ice cream, protein powder, weight gaining shakes - were found to have caused acid reflux disease, with the acid from his stomach going into his oesophagus and causing his throat problems. He adds, "I was the happiest brother on the planet when I found out that was all it was!"

Cancer Surviving Pop Singers

Elton John, Throat cancer

Tom Jones, Throat Cancer

George Michael, Head & Neck related problems

Rod Stewart, Throat Cancer

Eddie Van Halen, Oral Cancer   

Charlie Watts, Throat Cancer


Pop Stars run double the risk of dying early!!!

 Pop and rock stars run double the risk of dying early, compared to other people, according to a report published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The risk of death is highest within a few years of the musician becoming famous, say the writers.

In this study, the researchers looked at 1050 musicians from North America and Europe who became pop/rock stars during the period 1956-1999. They all featured in the "All Time Top 1000 Albums", which was selected in 2000 - covering punk, rap, rock, R&B, electronica, new age and rock genres.

The researchers compared how long the stars survived after becoming famous and compared the data to expected longevity of the general population - they factored in age, sex, ethnicity, and nationality of the people they studied up to the end of 2005.

Out of the 1050 musicians, 100 died during the period 1956-2005. On average, the North American stars died at 42 while the European ones died at 35. One quarter of the deaths were closely linked to alcohol and drug problems.

When these stars were compared to the rest of the UK and US populations, they were found to have twice the risk of dying early - their most vulnerable time being within five years of becoming famous.

While surviving European stars returned to life expectancy levels of the general population 25 years after becoming famous, their North American peers did not (they continued having a much higher risk of early death).

The authors suggest that the music industry take the risks associated with substance abuse more seriously for two reasons. Firstly, the long term effects on the stars themselves can be significant. Secondly, music stars have a strong influence in the behaviors of others.

10% of UK children would like to become pop stars one day. It is seen as an attractive career option for the young - scores of young hopefuls apply to take part in various series, such as the "X Factor".

The authors write "Public health consideration needs to be given to preventing music icons promoting health-damaging behavior amongst their emulators and fans."

Not only could famous musicians become more active in promoting health messages, they also need to set examples, say the writers.

The writers warn "Where pop star behavior remains typified by risk taking and substance use, it is unlikely that young people will see any positive health messages they champion as credible."


06, sept 2007, Medical News Today.