Def Leppard's Joe Elliott Says Pneumonia Nearly Ended His Singing Career

Def Leppard is as disappointed about the yearlong delay in his band's 'Stadium Tour' with Mötley Crüe as anyone, but frontman Joe Elliott says the band will be ready when the time comes.

Elliott is doing his best to stay socially-distanced and safe from the novel coronavirus. He says he knows firsthand how devastating a respiratory disease can be, especially for a singer.

It was only about four years ago that Elliott fell ill with pneumonia. A resulting '100-day cough' almost completely ruined his vocal cords. He tells Express that his doctor said he was "never going to get better."

Elliott said he tried his best to push through the pain, until his voice gave out and he had no choice but to sit out a number of Def Leppard shows. He recalled how weird it was watching other singers fill-in for him.

When a few days off didn't change anything, Def Leppard had to cancel a tour. Elliott said he got more serious and went to Los Angeles to study daily with a vocal coach to rehab his voice and learn how to keep it healthy.

"I had to take five months of working every single day for an hour or two with my vocal coach, who's also a shrink in many respects."

After 18 months of work, he said his voice got back to where it was before his illness. After that, it started getting better than it was.

Today, Elliot says he's a stronger singer than he was 40 years ago, "best it's ever been."

He says his accuracy and control is beyond what it ever was. He gave up smoking, too, and now he says he sings constantly, whether onstage, in the studio or in the shower.

Photo: Getty Images

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