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Rod Stewart's cancer battle

Stewart: given the all-clear  

LONDON, England -- Veteran British rocker Rod Stewart has revealed that he thought he had lost his distinctive rasping voice for ever, after surgeons removed a cancerous lump from his throat.

The growth on his thyroid gland was discovered during a routine scan at a hospital in Los Angeles in April last year. He had emergency surgery the next day.

Stewart, 56, told Britain's Sun newspaper doctors warned him he would be unable to sing for six months but it was actually nine months before his voice came back.

"It was scary and it could have been very nasty. When you have a scare like that it puts things into perspective," Stewart was quoted as saying.

The paper said Stewart -- famed for hits like "Maggie May" and "Tonight's the Night" -- is now preparing to raise money for a children's cancer charity.

The millionaire said he had to retrain his voice completely after the operation but believes it is now better than ever.

"As far as my voice is concerned, it is really weird. It is not as strong right now but it will be because I just keep on singing and singing and singing," he told the newspaper.

"It has a new warmth to it -- that's the upside. It's like I've gone back to the 1970s rasp."

Stewart has sold millions of albums during a career spanning 30 years. He has just completed work on his latest album "Human."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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