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Amy Grant Says She's Had to Learn to Sing Again After 5-Hour Throat Surgery

She was diagnosed with a thyroglossal duct cyst after a serious bike accident.

In recent years, Amy Grant has been through a lot when it comes to her health. This includes an accident leading to an unexpected diagnosis that meant she had to relearn how to sing. In July 2022, Grant had an accident when she was riding her bike in Nashville and hit a pothole. The star was unconscious for 10 minutes, and the accident left her with short-term memory issues. At the same time, Grant was diagnosed with a thyroglossal duct cyst, which required a five-hour surgery. These issues came not long after the "Baby Baby" singer also underwent open-heart surgery in 2020.

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In a new interview with E! News, Grant shared that she had to learn to sing again following the January 2023 surgery on her throat.

"I had this bike wreck and, unbeknownst to me, I actually had a cyst growing in my throat and because of the trauma of that bike wreck it went into hyper-growth," Grant explained. "I had this five-hour surgery and they took it out … I actually had to learn to sing again."

Grant previously talked about discovering the cyst in a March 2023 interview with Today. She said that she was "working with a vocalist and she said, 'What is happening in your throat? Lean your head back,' And I said, 'I know. It's like I've got an Adam's apple, it keeps getting bigger.' Unbeknownst to me, I'd had a thyroglossal duct cyst." She told Today that she felt her voice became better than it had been in years after the surgery.

According to Columbia Doctors, thyroglossal duct cysts are congenial defects that are present from birth. Often, they are diagnosed in "preschool-aged children or during mid-adolescence." The website explains, "These cysts can fill with fluid or mucus and may enlarge if they become infected. Very enlarged cysts can cause difficulty swallowing or obstruct breathing passages." Treatment includes surgery, which was the case for Grant.

On top of dealing with the cyst, Grant also experienced cognitive issues due to the bike accident. "I still have issues with my short term memory," she told E! News. "My balance is still weird. I made a joke about it last night. You know, sometimes I walk around like I'm drunk, and I just have to laugh about all of it. I can't remember what I can't remember. I don't know if I'll get back on a bike. There's so many great sports to enjoy, and so, you know, who knows."

As for the June 2020 open-heart surgery, Grant was diagnosed with the rare congenial heart defect partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR). According to Mayo Clinic, "In this condition, some of the blood vessels of the lungs attach to the wrong place in the heart."

Grant reflected on her diagnosis and surgery in a 2021 interview with Good Morning America in which she urged people to prioritize their health. "My birth defect was an encroaching killer—and I had no idea," she said. "So my advice would be take care of yourself. The world needs you. Even if you feel like everything is fine, you don't really know what's going on inside."

Grant has kept a positive attitude through her health issues. The 63-year-old compared herself to a car being worked on in her new E! News interview. "They asked me, 'Hey, we're going into your throat, do you want a facelift?' And I said, 'Dear god, no, I actually have to be on stage in X number of weeks," she said. "I didn't ask for it, but I came out of surgery, and my neck was a little higher. I just felt like an old beat up car that went in and got a paint job and had the dents knocked out. And it was just, I mean, that's a gift."

Today, she is continuing to perform music. "I do feel the love, and my reasons for touring are—I don't get on stage because I need to hear applause. I have always loved creating spaces, and I do think that it feels like that continues to matter."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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