Flamboyant rocker SIR ELTON JOHN used to smoke so much cannabis he was forced to undergo surgery to save his voice, making his crooning better than ever.The ROCKET MAN star indulged heavily in marijuana when he lived in Australia in the 1980s with his then-wife RENATE BLAUEL.In 1987 the bespectacled singer went on a one year hiatus for the operation, which at the time he claimed was due to an infection.However, John has now admitted his pot habit resulted in doctors finding polyps (small growths) on his vocal chords, which were swiftly removed during surgery.John says, "My voice has gotten deeper and it's all down to when I was living in Australia. I could speak and only barely sing. Deep down I knew that something was chronically wrong with my voice. It was polyps."The first thing the doctor said to me, 'You smoke a lot of dope, don't you?' I gasped and said, 'How do you know?'"The doctor said, 'I can tell by the way you're talking. If you're a singer, the worse thing you can do is smoke dope.'

"We did the operation in Australia and it lowered the timbre of my voice. It's deeper, has more resonance and it's stronger. "I used to be a piano player who sang and now I'm a singer who plays piano.

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