When Keith Urban was first getting his start as a singer in Australia, he’d sing every time he could; even when it was for four hours a night, five nights a week. That took a toll on one of Urban’s most valued instruments: his voice.
At a Raise Your Voice concert benefit on Monday night (March 5) at Lincoln Center in New York, Urban explained to the crowd what that was like for him physically and emotionally.
“I was touring and just getting through gigs by not talking the next day,” Urban said. And it was fellow singer-songwriter John Mayer who told Urban about Dr. Steven Zeitels, the laryngeal surgeon. “I went up to Boston to meet him. He took a good look and was like, ‘Oh yeah, we can clean all that damage right up.’”
And Urban admitted that it wasn’t just his voice that was suffering. “My voice was vulnerable, so it made me insecure and made everything in my life vulnerable,” he shared. “I didn’t realize how much low-grade depression I was really living with.
“When you healed it and fixed it the way you did, I felt my entire spirit and life lift. I got stressed way less; I didn’t have anxiety. It had such a profound effect on my whole being and world. That’s how important my voice is to me,” he told Zeitels in front of guests at the 15th annual fundraiser for The Voice Health Institute.
Julie Andrews was honored at the event, which also featured performances by Zeitels’ other notable patients, Sam Smith and Roger Daltrey.