By Vernell Hackett
NASHVILLE (Reuters) - Country singer Keith Urban says that during the three weeks he was ordered not to speak late last year after vocal surgery, he learned a few valuable lessons about communication including this: sometimes people talk too much.
"I was amazed at how much noise there is on television and in conversations," Urban told Reuters on Wednesday. "It's rubbish. We could strip away so much ... be more succinct ... and still make our point.
"I realized I'm as guilty as anybody. I learned that when you have to write stuff down you get real particular as to how and what you want to say."
The singer underwent surgery in November to remove polyps from a vocal chord, causing his doctor put him on vocal rest for three weeks and bar him from singing until February.
Urban, who has nothched a No. 1 single "Long Hot Summer" with co-writer Richard Marx, said that while he was unable to talk, his other senses improved, especially hearing.
He thought ahead, too, and prepared for how he would communicate with his three-year-old daughter, Sunday Rose. He recorded several of her favorite books onto a tape, and after his surgery, he would take the recorder to her room at night, press play and turn the pages of the book so he could "read."
Sunday Rose would let the tape play for a little while and then she'd hit the stop button. She would look at her dad and say, "I want you to read it," Urban said.
His wife, actress Nicole Kidman, would have to explain to Sunday Rose why daddy couldn't actually read to her.
Urban, whose hits include "You Look Good in My Shirt" "Making Memories of Us" and "Somebody Like You," is fully recovered from his surgery and plans to return to the stage on February 4, when he performs at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He is also planning a huge benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on April 10.
(Reporting By Vernell Hackett, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)