“It Would Have Killed Me” Shania Twain Says Of Lyme Disease Taking Her Singing Voice

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Shania Twain, known worldwide as a powerful female vocalist and the queen of pop-country, has spoken out again regarding her years-long fight against Lyme Disease and the effect it has had on her ability to sing.

At the height of her career, her huge dreams and wild success seemingly came to a screeching halt after contracting a disease while horseback riding. It was something that she had no idea would impact her the way it has – and that’s part of the reason why she abstained from releasing music for more than 15 years.

“I started having problems with controlling my voice,” Twain confessed in an interview on Lorraine in 2017, adding she had been cleared of major effects from contracting Lyme disease. “I figured it was just fatigue. I was ending this very long tour, I had a young toddler, and I had been overworked for many years…I just figured I needed a break.”

“But the break got extended,” she continued, pausing to hold back tears. “Because my voice never came back.”

At this point, Twain was having issues with her speaking voice, couldn’t sing at all, and looked the death of her career square in the eyes. Grieving the loss of her ability to sing, she believed for years that she wouldn’t ever be able to return to the stage.

“I was on a long sabbatical, and my son was getting older. I love being a full-time mom, but I started thinking, ‘What am I going to do when I have an empty nest?’ I had a problem with my voice; I was avoiding doing something about it,” she explained in a recent issue of People Magazine.

As she explored her newfound empty nest, she decided to focus on her voice and “put all [her] energy into that.”

But that’s when she was hit with crushing realization of how badly her voice had gotten due to Lyme disease.

“When I realized that I could barely sing at all anymore, I was like, ‘I’m humiliating myself. I can’t get out there and do this. I have to stop until I figure it out.’ I thought that it was just fatigue or burnout. But no — Lyme disease commonly affects the nerves. When I discovered a glimpse of hope, I ran with that.”

It wasn’t long before she underwent open-throat surgery and worked with a specialist to help try and repair the damage caused by the tick-borne disease.

“It would have killed me not to be able to ever sing again,” Twain admitted. “I wasn’t going to let my life be over if I wasn’t going to be able to sing again,  but I would have been very sad and I would have mourned that forever. But it is a great love of mine and a passion — that’s what got me back on stage again because I could. Now I have more appreciation for it than ever.”

See her full, extended 2017 interview on Lorraine below.