I was watching the news today and there was an item which mentioned that Adele has had to cancel her concerts this weekend because of problems with her vocal cords. This is the third time she's had reported problems with her vocal cords. In 2011, she had problems which resulted in a vocal cord haemorrhage during a world tour. She rested her voice, having to cancel a number of gigs (which she was later able to re-book), but she then carried on with the tour (bad idea!) but it happened again and so she had to have surgery. Poor Adele, this all sounds pretty awful, but you’ve got to have been putting some pretty heavy stress on your vocal cords to cause something like this.
Then there was Connie Fisher (you remember, the girl who won the Andrew Lloyd Webber search for the part of Maria in "The Sound of Music"). Connie felt that as her fans were paying to come and see her, she didn't think it fair to let her understudy sing the two shows on Saturday (which is usually the case). Result: she started having problems with her voice, so she chose to have cortisol injections into her vocal cords (quite frankly this was such a bad idea!) and has now lost her voice permanently - finito. She had surgery but her voice has not recovered.
I see it time and time again, people using their voices incorrectly, or pushing their voice too hard (which was probably the case for poor Adele, under pressure from her record company and the strain of a world tour), really bad breath control – the list goes on (yes, I know, there are always the heavy smokers who seem to be able to "sing" through to old age without any problems, but they're generally not really using their voices in as demanding a way as singers like Adele).
What I think people generally fail to understand (as can clearly be seen by the examples above) is just how delicate the vocal cords are. As such, please have a look at the attached video when all will become clear! The bottom line is you just cannot abuse your vocal cords!