Def Leppard has been a consistently touring band for many years before the coronavirus pandemic, but Joe Elliott said in a new interview his performing days were in danger following an illness in 2016.
Speaking with the U.K.’s Express, Elliott said he got pneumonia in January 2016 and, “…I got the hundred-day cough, it totally destroyed my vocal cords, to the point where my throat doctor said to me, ‘If you weren’t you I’d tell you to retire because this is never going to get better.'”
From there, Elliott worked with a vocal coach to get his voice and vocal cords back into shape saying now about his voice, “It’s stronger than it used to be, best it’s ever been. I’d love to say I don’t know how it happened but I do know how it happened…We worked with the vocal coach, who doesn’t teach you to sing, he teaches you how not to use your voice. Exercising it properly before you go out on stage.”
How long did it take working with a vocal coach before Elliott was really feeling better again? About 18 months!
All that time, however, was worth it with Elliott saying, “My voice got better and better…I just got more accurate. I’ll be the first to say I’m no Paul Rodgers, but I’ve got a style that’s recognizable that now, at the age of 60, is better than it was at 20.”