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His voice has gone from fairly musical/tonal to being more shouted than anything else. This was at least somewhat inspired by a recent question about the effects of smoking on a voice over time. Is it smoking and drinking, vocal abuse/overuse or other forms of injury that can happen over decades?

I will understand if this question is too speculative in nature and needs to be closed but couldn't think of a better way to phrase it or better place to ask.

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Is it smoking and drinking, vocal abuse/overuse or other forms of injury that can happen over decades?

In part, yes, but it's also just age. Epithelial and connective tissue loses elasticity. Cartilage becomes stiffer as it ossifies. Muscles may lose their strength for any of several reasons. All of these tissues are present in the larynx, and the changes affect the way it vibrates and the ability of the singer to control its vibration. No singer sounds at 79 like a 29-year old, no matter what sort of injury filled or injury free life the voice may have been subjected to.

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    Yeah, though Ella at 67 is still quite something! Sep 7, 2022 at 12:58
  • @AndyBonner indeed, though she was 62 in 1979.
    – phoog
    Sep 7, 2022 at 13:10
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    I was well impressed with McCartney at Glastonbury this year. 80 years old & everything still in its original key. Darned impressive.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 7, 2022 at 13:55
  • Cher is doing well too. Seems like the women fare better than the men in general though there are exceptions. Sep 7, 2022 at 14:01
  • Oh… McCartney smokes. That puts paid to a lot of the recent discussions then ;) dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10671301/…
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 7, 2022 at 15:52

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