Axl Rose, Tom Keifer Honor Late Vocal Coach Ron Anderson
Axl Rose, Tom Keifer and several other rock legends this week mourned the loss of esteemed vocal coach Ron Anderson, who died on Sunday at the age of 75.
Anderson, the self-described "voice trainer to the stars," coached some of rock's most recognizable vocalists, including Rose, Keifer, Chris Cornell, Myles Kennedy and Ozzy Osbourne. He also worked with younger metal vocalists, including Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows and Trivium's Matt Heafy, as well as pop stars like the Weeknd, Alicia Keys and Adele.
"Very sad to learn of the passing of my friend and vocal coach Ron Anderson," Rose wrote in a statement shared to Twitter. "I knew Ron for 35 years. He was always there when I needed him. To say Ron really knew his craft is a huge understatement."
"Thanks Ron for always having the right answer when it was needed most! You're already missed!" Rose continued. "However good God's choir might be, I know you'll make it a hell of a lot better!!!"
Keifer also paid tribute to Anderson with a Twitter statement. "Ron literally retaught me how to sing at a time I didn't think I would ever be able to sing again,” the ex-Cinderella vocalist wrote. "There are really no words that could possibly begin to thank him for how he changed my life. I know there are many other singers who feel the same way. He was an inspirational teacher and a wonderful human being."
You can see more rock star tributes to Anderson below.
Born on Feb. 4, 1946, Anderson successfully auditioned to be a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club in middle school, but his mother didn’t allow him to join. In high school, he joined the Young Americans, a professional show choir that backed artists like Bing Crosby and Judy Garland in television specials.
Around his senior year, Anderson severely damaged his voice. Specialists determined the only way for Anderson to heal was to avoid all vocal activity, so he moved to a small island in the South Pacific where he communicated in writing only for eight months straight. Following his recovery, Anderson pursued a career as an opera singer and later began coaching other musicians on a mostly referral basis.
"One of the most important issues a singer must address is confidence," Anderson said in a 2016 interview. "The only way to achieve real confidence as a performer is to believe deeply in your vocal fitness and technique. Without the confidence that comes from doing the work and knowing your instrument, it’s unlikely you will be able to sing well consistently and even less likely that your voice will last. So to succeed, it takes both physical and mental discipline. There’s really no separation between the two."