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Pre-Cancerous Growths Removed From Roger Daltrey's Throat

Who frontman had procedure done in 2009, but news of it only recently came to light

January 4, 2011 1:45 PM ET
Pre-Cancerous Growths Removed From Roger Daltrey's Throat
Dave M. Benett/Getty

Roger Daltrey was roundly criticized for his singing voice at the 2010 Super Bowl halftime show, but few people knew that just weeks earlier The Who frontman had a precancerous growth removed from his vocal cord. Daltrey noticed he was having extreme difficulty with his singing voice while on a solo tour in 2009. "My voice wasn't performing in a normal way," he told CBS Los Angeles last month. "It was becoming hard work to sing. I just got lucky that somebody put me in touch with Steven Zeitel at Mass General. He saw me and told me that he didn't like what he saw."

(The news was posted on the CBS website a month ago, but it received little attention. The news hit our radar when it was referenced in a Rolling Stones message board post.)

Roger Daltrey Planning Who Tour, New Collaborations

One week before Christmas 2009 Daltrey went under the knife. "He took off what he could from the problem area on my vocal cord," Daltrey said. "He said it wasn't cancer, but it was a pre-cancerous [growth] and you have to keep an eye on it...I see him every time after I finish a tour and he swears that he'll keep me singing into my 80s. That might upset some people, but it keeps me happy."

When The Who last toured America in 2008 some of the venues weren't sold out. "You can do too much and oversell your market," Daltrey said. "You can also lose your passion for it." Despite Pete Townshend's recent hearing problems, Daltrey says that The Who are still planning on touring this year. "We have an incredible catalog of songs that we can never plan in one tour," Daltrey said. "We're trying to work out something where we play a good size chunk of it, but we'll see."

Roger Daltrey: One of the 100 Greatest Singers Of All-Time

He didn't elaborate on exactly how they planned on expanding the setlist, but in other recent interviews Daltrey suggested the possibility of playing multiple night stands that would feature Quadropehania, Tommy and a third night of hits and rarities.

The Who Frontman Opens Up About Losing His Voice [CBS Local]

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