I'm currently reading The Life Of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz (it's OK so far). In an interview with either her sister Erma or her booking agent, it was mentioned that at one point in her career, in addition to having a serious drinking problem, she was smoking 3 packs a day. I know for the time that was normal, but it still kinda shocks me the number of singers that smoked given their profession.
Who are some other vocalists that smoked? Are there any albums that showcase a change in voice due to smoking?
4. "a lot of voice actors do the same thing" In response to Reply # 0
most notable for me was always Kevin Conroy (the voice of cartoon Batman since the early 90s). he's said many times over the years he smokes mainly to help him achieve the Bruce/Batman voice. i can imagine singers do sumthn similar. i know my voice changes after a few joints, usually it helps me hit higher notes than i would without any smoke. which i always found weird.
9. "To me the amazing thing is that they still had great lung strength" In response to Reply # 0
When I smoked, my lung capacity was wrecked and that was really only after half a pack a day. I couldn't imagine having to sing throughout a two hour set after having 3 packs of cigarettes.
The most comfortable and wisest people are those who watch their health when they are healthy; guard their country when it is untroubled; and cultivate their fields well when weeds are nonexistent or scarce. - Reverend Dosung Yoo
>come to think of it Sinatra would smoke while singing.
I've had a chance to film vocalists behind the scenes and watching what they do to protect their voices (avoiding all the things you mentioned), it still amazes me the footage I've seen of The Rat Pack and them smoking on stage. Definitely a different time.