Lee Brice Opens Up About Vocal Cord Surgery and Finding His Single “Boy”

Lee Brice performing at Ascend theater
Photo by Kayla Schoen/CMA

During CMA Fest, which took place June 7-10, there were many country concerts to see throughout the week. It is virtually a country music lovers dream. With hundreds of artists performing on 11 different stage, you’re sure to catch some good ole country music.

But one of our favorite events is the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater, where you’ll find free nightly concerts.

One Country‘s Kelly Sutton caught up with Lee Brice, who were on the bill with Clare Dunn, Drake White, Tyler Farr and Maddie & Tae

Lee lit up when talking about his children, shared the first time he heard his current single, “Boy” and revealed the story behind his recent vocal chord surgery.

On his children growing up:

“With my boys it’s like, I have a little bit of—I’m excited he’s about to start listening a little bit more and we’re going to start learning how to throw a ball and go fishing. We’re gonna learn how to hook up a trailer. We’re going to start bonding. With her, Trulee, she was turning one and I just wanted her to look at me with her little pacifier and look in my eyes again. Just stare me down. That’s what I’m holding on to the most.”

On hearing “Boy” for the first time:

“I heard that song and it treated me kind of like “I Drive Your Truck” treated me. I got about a verse and about a half of chorus in, I stopped it and I went, ‘I’m cutting it. Stop right now, call everybody you need to call, I’m recording this song. Please stop the presses, I’m recording this song. Because I knew it was so special. So yeah, ‘Boy’ is very special. It will be around.”

On what’s next:

“Well, we’re putting out a new song called “Rumor.” It’s groovy. This whole record I made is soulful. I kind of had a little voice thing going on for a while and I had to have surgery. I couldn’t hardly sing, so it took all I had to sing kind of not very rangy songs. But it kind of put this natural extra umph, soul on these songs. So it lended itself to me writing these songs. So the whole record ended up being extra soulful.

“I had surgery and I have my voice back. I can do whatever I want to with my voice, other than sometimes singing some of that raspy stuff that I was not trying to do, I was just trying to get the words out. I think it’s going to be cool looking back on this record and see that and hear that.

On having vocal cord surgery:

“I guess it could be terrifying but I’m always the dude that’s like, ‘alright, cut it out. Get it out of there and then I’ll work through it. I’ll do my physical therapy and we’ll fix it and I’ll be back better than ever.’  Just like when you sprain an ankle or do something in Football, fix it. Let’s get back to like where I can be a hundred percent instead of fifty percent or thirty percent.

“The doctor said, ‘you’ve had this for seven to ten years. I don’t know how you can even speak much less have been singing two hundred shows a year for the last five to seven years.’ There is no choice. I started to feel it I would sing one song and I felt like I was running up a mountain to sing one song. I didn’t realize it until they showed me the picture of what was on my vocal cords. This big callous, this big huge thing that wasn’t supposed to be there. My cords couldn’t go together and make a sound, I had to force them, But again, it made this record just extra soulful.”