Folk singer and songwriter Janis Ian was forced to cancel the remaining dates of her farewell tour after laryngitis she contracted earlier in the year left recent scarring in the folds of her vocal cords.
Ian’s condition, which is generally difficult to treat, has made it difficult for the artist to speak or sing. Vocal cord scarring occurs when scar tissue forms on the layer of the vocal cord that vibrates and gives individuals their voice, according to the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh. Scarring can be mild or severe, and occur in an isolated area or on the entire vocal cord.
“It is with unfathomable sadness that I announce the cancellation of all upcoming tour dates,” said Ian in a statement posted on her Twitter page. “Unfortunately, the laryngitis that forced the postponement of some spring dates has turned out to be more complicated than simple, treatable laryngitis. There is vocal fold scarring; the doctors can only speculate as to why, but treatments are very limited. And it would be many months before we’d know the outcome of any treatment.”
Ian added, “It is most unlikely that I’ll ever sound like myself again. I consider myself lucky that this is not life-threatening, though the loss in my own small world is staggering.”
Ian’s farewell tour follows the release of her most recent album, The Light at the End of the Line, which she said was her final solo album.
“I’m 71 this year, and there are a multitude of reasons to stop,” Ian recently told American Songwriter. “I would like to spend time writing. And I would like to spend time with my family. I’d like to do a bunch of other things, so having a full-tilt career doesn’t allow for any of that right now. I’ve been doing it for so long now.”
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