Little Big Town Share Details of Jimi Westbrook’s Vocal Cord Surgery
Band members Phillip Sweet and Kimberly Schlapman co-hosted the Country Countdown USA radio show last week, and they told host Lon Helton that Westbrook didn't have much choice about the operation.
"Actually, his voice got tired, it’s just a muscle, and there was a little bit of a polyp that got soft, and they wanted to get it before it got bad," Sweet says. "So this is actually a great thing that he went in and did, and he’ll be much better afterwards, and the rest is gonna be great too.”
“It had been happening over the past few months where he would sing, but then he would save his voice and try not to talk," Schlapman adds. "We all hoped that would help it get better, but it never got better. So when he went in, the doctor said, ‘You’ve got to have surgery, or you’re just not gonna be able to continue at all.”
A fellow country star helped ease Westbrook's mind before the procedure.
“A lot of other singers have been in the same position, and I think Jimi confided in Keith Urban, who had been down that road, and he said it was the best thing he’d done, and now he sings better than ever, and so Jimi was encouraged by Keith and went forward," Sweet shares. "I think it’s gonna be the best thing for Jimi. For the longterm of Little Big Town, this is the best thing.”
Westbrook is currently on vocal rest through the month of July and has been instructed not to talk at all. The group are off the road this summer for the first time in their 17-year history while he recuperates, and Sweet and Schlapman are making the most of it. Sweet has had some precious time with his daughter while she's out of school, while Schlapman has been using the time to get things done. "I had a list as long as my arm, and it’s dwindling, and it’s nice," she shares. "My list is getting shorter and shorter.”
Little Big Town are currently enjoying the biggest hit of their career with "Girl Crush," which has just set an all-time chart record after spending 11 straight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. The next show on their schedule is on July 31 at the Delaware State Fair.
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