The One Show: Rod Stewart swerves Live Aid question
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British rock royalty Sir Rod Stewart was given the all-clear after being diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago. However, the 73-year-old is already a cancer survivor after battling thyroid cancer back in 2000, when he had to undergo throat surgery to remove a tumour. In a recent BBC Radio 5 Live interview, the musician candidly opened up on how he suffered from memory loss following the procedure.
BBC 5 Live’s Nihal Arthanayake chatted with living legend Rod in a recent episode of Headliners, which brings listeners in-depth interviews with the biggest names in entertainment.
He spoke to the 250-million record selling singer-songwriter about football, family and his new album The Tears of Hercules.
The duo also went into depth about Rod being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and the throat surgery he underwent to remove a tumour.
Nihal asked: “Having been close to losing your voice 21 years ago from thyroid cancer, having been close to that, how did that make you feel about that beautiful instrument you had?”
The First Cut is the Deepest singer replied: “[It made me feel] vulnerable I suppose.
“I knew going into the operation it might be difficult coming back because they cut all the way through my neck.
“I am sure there’s a better way of doing it now with keyhole surgery.
“But of course you suffer memory loss, so you almost forget how to sing.”
Rod continued: “It took me nine months, and I’d start off singing, ‘Wake up Maggie’, and I got something and then a little bit more every day.
“But it took me nine months to get my voice back.”
Thyroid cancer is the 20th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for one per cent of all new cancer cases, and it is more common amongst women.
Nihal asked Rod if he feared he wouldn’t be able to sing again following his operation or if he thought he would be able to get his voice back.
Rod explained: “Yeah, I spoke to my surgeons and they said, ‘Just be patient and you’ll get it back.’
When Rod was asked whether he has become more patient with age, he hesitated and said: “I am impatient sometimes with my children but I am patient when I am making my model railways. So I am both cases.”
The star admitted he is impatient with his music as he always wants to get his albums “out there” for people to hear as soon as possible.
Rod explained: “God gave me a wonderful voice, although some people will probably disagree with that, and it’s flexible, literally flexible.
“I can sing so many genres and I want to do a country album and a duet album next.”
Rod has a claim to 10 number one albums and 31 top 10 singles in the UK – six of which have reached the number one spot.
The icon has also had 16 top 10 singles in America, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Rod was knighted for his services to music and charity in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The full Rod Stewart Headliners interview can be listened to on BBC Sounds.
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