In mid-June, Little Big Town were forced to cancel a string of concerts due to the vocal cord surgery that member Jimi Westbook needed to undergo. About one month later, the country quartet says that Westbrook is doing well and that they are grateful both for their unplanned "summer vacation" and for how Westbrook's surgery will help the group's future.

"I think it’s gonna be the best thing for Jimi," LBT member Phillip Sweet tells Country Countdown USA. "For the long term of Little Big Town, this is the best thing.”

Sweet adds that Westbrook confided in Keith Urban, who had a similar surgery in late 2011 and praised its results. Westbrook "was encouraged by Keith," Sweet says, and went to the same surgeon.

Group member Kimberly Schlapman adds that, for the last few months, Westbrook would sing, then try not to talk in order to save his voice, hoping that the issues he was having would resolve themselves -- but they never did.

"So when he went in, the doctor said, ‘You’ve got to have surgery, or you’re just not gonna be able to continue at all,'" Schlapman explains.

Both Schlapman and Sweet have visited Westbrook since his surgery -- Little Big Town's fourth member, Karen Fairchild, is married to Westbrook, so she has, of course, been helping him recover as well -- and say that even though he can't speak at all for a month, Westbrook is doing well and finding ways to communicate.

"We both went to se Jimi after he had his surgery," Schlapman recalls. "I took him some homemade ice cream, and when I got there, he had his iPad strapped around his neck, and a friend of ours brought him a pen where he can write on his iPad."

Little Big Town have been together for 17 years, and this is the first time they've had time off during the summer. The group is eager to return to the road, but that doesn't mean they aren't enjoying the short break.

"I get to be with my daughter when she’s out of school, and we’re playing, getting ice cream," Sweet says. "[I'm] doing house projects. I feel all domesticated.”

Adds Schlapman, "I had a list [of things to do] as long as my arm, and it’s dwindling, and it’s nice. My list is getting shorter and shorter.”

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