Doctors have saved the voice of DARKNESS rocker JUSTIN HAWKINS - by using his stomach acid.

The flamboyant frontman feared he'd be unable to sing again, after a medical condition forced him to cancel a number of gigs earlier this year (04).

But after an operation to solve the problem the I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE singer is back to full health.

Hawkins explains, "I had a hiatus hernia and acid reflux. Basically there's a sphincter inside your throat, as well as up your bottom. It's supposed to control how much acid is let up into your throat.

"But mine was broken so my stomach was spitting acid into the throat. It was literally burning my voice up.

"Doctors stuck a tube down my nose to measure the acidity.

"Three per cent is normal. They operate at 12 per cent. But I clocked a whopping 82 per cent. It was one of the worst cases in medical history.

"It turned out to be hereditary - so I blame my dad."

21/05/2004 16:53