Given the way Shania Twain dominated the stage at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards, delivering a jaw-dropping medley of her biggest hits, you’d never think that she ever struggled with her voice.
However, in InStyle‘s new February cover story, the beloved country artist revealed that for more than seven years, she was unable to project vocally. Doctors then diagnosed the now 57-year-old with Lyme disease stemming from a 2004 tick bite, leading them to believe that the disease damaged nerves in her vocal cords.
After years of relearning how to sing with physical therapy and vocal warm-ups, the five-time Grammy winner underwent open-throat surgery in 2018. “After I had the surgery, I was petrified to make a sound,” Twain told the publication. “I didn’t know what was going to come out.”
Thankfully, the star worked up the courage to try again. “It did scare me, but I just had to take the leap and make a sound. And I was so excited about what came out,” she recalled. “It was a connection to the vocal cords and it came out very easily. I was really, really, really excited.”
“It’s a reminder, don’t take time for granted,” Twain added of the scary experience. “Don’t take the opportunity for granted. It’s possible I might lose it, that it may not last. I guess any prosthetic or support that you get that is synthetic, your body still may give out around it. It could happen.”
The now-healthy country queen is gearing up to head out on a 2023 global tour in support of her upcoming sixth studio album, Queen of Me, out on Feb. 3. “These days, I’m feeling very comfortable in my own skin – and I think this album reflects that musically,” Twain said via Instagram announcing the news. “Life is short and I want to be uplifted, colorful, unapologetic and empowered. I want to carry a clear message, particularly as a woman, to always remember my power and I hope the songs are a reminder to you, of that same power inside you!”