No Longer Pitch Perfect: Singers Who’ve Lost Their Voice

August 27, 2013  |  
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There’s nothing like listening to famous crooners belt out lyrics to one of your jams. But when you hear your favorite singer struggle to reach a high note, it makes you want to cover your ears.  If a vocalist makes their fans cringe every time they open their mouth, it’s time to give it on up.

Of course every singer is entitled to an off day. Who knows, they may have just been caught with a scratchy throat or have experienced a serious medical setback that affects their vocal chords? But for most of the singers who’ve lost their voice on this list, the change seems to be a bit more…permanent. Would you agree?


Recently in the headlines for his awkward performance with TGT, Ginuwine was on blast for his inability to stop twitching. Known for dishing out heaps of sex appeal and dance moves, it seems he can’t rely on either anymore. And his voice was never truly one to swoon over.

Chris Brown

When Chris Brown first started out, he amazed us with his beautiful voice, good looks and fly dance skills. But his performance at the Billboard Music Awards was off. The singer even admitted that his notes were far from pitch perfect, but every performance of “Fine China” there after has been off too. A little advice for Chris Brown would be to stay away from the cigs as well.

Frankie Beverly

We can jam to the best of Frankie Beverly and Maze songs, but his performance at the 2012 BET Awards proved that the singer was struggling vocally. He couldn’t reach some of the notes to the songs, and you could tell he was straining to stay in tune. Beverly suffers from polyps on the vocal chords, and that’s why we didn’t get the soothing and smooth voice we’re so used to.

Mariah Carey

When Mariah Carey exploded onto the scene with her Vision of Love, sister girl was hitting those glass-shattering notes with ease. Not the case anymore! Although the beautiful songbird can still produce chart-topping hits, notice how she stays in the safe zone with her voice, and not the high, melodic five-octave alto we so loved. Rumored alcohol abuse and vomiting have damaged her vocal chords.

Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill could put us in a trance with her heavy, sultry voice. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill educated us on life’s struggles while tugging at our heartstrings. It earned her 10 Grammy nominations of which she won five. We longed to hear more from her and wondered what happened when she went on her super long hiatus. But when she re-entered the music world, it wasn’t the same. We waited with baited breath and were hugely disappointed as nowadays she raps more than sings. Guess the old adage is true – If you don’t use it, you lose it.


Adele’s rich, strong voice is ultra easy on the ears as we stop and hang on to her every word. Then her voice cracked live on radio in Paris. She says, “It felt like something popped in my throat.” The songstress reluctantly opted for a risky surgery on her throat in November of 2012 – but was careful in getting the laser microsurgery to prevent damaging her voice. Now the singer is back, proving to the world by singing Someone Like You in  a cappella, that she still has it.

Bobby Brown

Once a member of New Edition and later striking out on his own with hit after hit including My Prerogative, Every Little Step I Take and Don’t Be Cruel, Bobby Brown was always topping music charts. But years of drug and alcohol abuse has surely taken its toll on Bobby Brown’s voice, putting a halt on his music career.

K-Ci & Jo Jo

Ohh Yeah! Brothers K-Ci and Jo Jo from the 90’s group Jodeci had swag back in the day. They crooned lyrics that wound their way around our hearts. It was raw music at its finest. Their hits included Forever My Lady and Come and Talk To Me amongst many others. Drugs, though, led to the demise of their singing careers. Their performance at a Blast from the Past old school concert back in 2009 said it all. The brothers looked gaunt and high as kites. Plus, they both fell on stage. It’s a wrap.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys has taken heat lately, with accusations of not being able to sing. We embraced Alicia Keys since her piano-playing, braid-wearing debut of Songs in A Minor. Her husky voice gave depth to her music, and it was a breath of fresh air. Now though, Alicia Keys tends to get off key, especially during the NBA All Star Playoff Halftime Show.

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