Could 'Idol' Star Lose Her Winning Voice?

Jordin Sparks is on vocal rest after developing a vocal chord hemorrhage.

ByABC News
April 21, 2008, 3:23 PM

April 22, 2008 — -- A vocal chord injury could permanently strip "American Idol" season six winner Jordin Sparks of her singing voice if she does not abide by doctor's orders and rest, several throat specialists told

Scarring from a vocal chord injury could make a difference for a professional singer, said Dr. Peter Catalano, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. "It may change your ability to sing certain types of songs or potentially, if it's really bad, affect your ability to sing altogether."

Sparks was diagnosed with an acute vocal chord hemorrhage, an injury similar to a blood blister that results from the overuse of vocal chords. The condition is most often seen in people who use their voice professionally, such as attorneys, teachers or, as in the "American Idol" case, singers.

Numerous crooners, including Elton John, Steven Tyler (lead singer of Aerosmith) and Jessica Simpson, have reportedly had their careers temporarily sidelined by vocal injuries.

Sparks has already canceled several appearances, including scheduled cameos on Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Key's tour. Her publicist told that Sparks, 18, will remain offstage until May.

"Jordin Sparks is on vocal rest and is expected to make a full and complete recovery. She looks forward to joining Alicia Keys on tour in May," read a statement released by 19/Jive Records. "Sparks has been going nonstop over the past two years, and now she is going through the normal course of learning how to manage and care for her voice.

"Jordin appreciates the outpouring of concern and well-wishes of her fans as she recuperates at home," read the statement.

And it's Sparks' "nonstop" lifestyle that is likely contributing to her failing vocal chords and could leave the singer with a different sounding voice altogether, experts said.

"Depending on where on the vocal chord [the blister] is and how big it is really determines how it affects one's voice and whether or not it would be dangerous to someone's career," said Catalano. "Certain parts of the vocal chords are much more important to the quality of one's voice than others."