October 22 is World Stuttering Day. The day of action is used annually to specifically educate about speech impediments, to clear prejudices out of the way, and to actively strengthen those affected.
We introduce you to four well-known singers who were able to overcome stuttering, especially thanks to the music and self-affirmation like what you can learn from Affirmations websites.
The causes of stuttering, which usually begins in childhood of about two to five years, have not yet been sufficiently researched. However, the popular opinion that stuttering is caused, among other things, by nervousness or anxiety has been refuted. It is rather the other way around: The effort to speak “correctly” and accompanying negative emotions such as feelings of shame often lead to fear, nervousness, and pronounced frustration in those affected. Stuttering is therefore not based on psychological problems but creates them. By the way, great humbug is also the prejudice that stuttering people are less intelligent than non-stuttering people. According to one estimate, more than three-quarters of a million adults stutter in Germany.
The former frontman of the band Unheilig stuttered heavily in his childhood and had to endure a lot of teasing from other children. In interviews, the singer said that because of stuttering, he grew up with the feeling of doing something wrong and suffered from it for a long time. Only music helped him to deal with his language problem, to overcome insecurities, and to build self-confidence.
The British singer became known for his participation in the first season of “Pop Idol”. With his first single, he not only immediately landed at number one in the UK single charts but is also involved as a trained speech trainer for children and adults who stutter – like himself in the past.
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The American musician, who suddenly became world famous through his hit Scatman in the mid-1990s, suffered extremely as a primary school student from the fact that classmates made fun of his stuttering and imitated him. Malicious attacks like these led John to suffer from inferiority complexes and subsequently tried to avoid speaking. Until his death, Scatman John was involved in organizations that advocate for stuttering people.
Lyrics from his super hit Scatman also take up the theme of stuttering: “Everyone says that the Scatman stutters, but never when he sings. But what you don’t know and I’m telling you now: stuttering and scatting is the same thing. Everyone stutters in one way or another and that’s why listen carefully. Just don’t let anything hold you back. If the Scatman can do it, so can you!”
The British singer-songwriter also stuttered as a child and was teased, but today no longer suffers from the speech disorder. In a radio interview, he said that he rapped Eminem’s lyrics and his stuttering disappeared over time: “I rapped at such a fast pace that my stuttering disappeared.”