Shania Twain has revealed it was ‘depressing and devastating’ when she thought she might not be able to sing again after contracting Lyme disease and having open-throat surgery.
The singer, 57, contracted the tick-borne illness in 2003, and her voice was damaged by the effects of dysphonia as a result of the disease.
Speaking on Thursday’s Lorraine Shania explained how her new album Queen of Me is the first album she has released since the procedure on her voice.
While promoting the latest release on the daytime TV show she also reflected on her previous fears of potentially not being able to sing again amid the diagnosis.
She said: ‘It was quite depressing and devastating that to imagine that.
‘Even speaking has been difficult with the Lyme disease. Now I’m just feeling so grateful that I can sing and express myself.
‘And this now is my first album since the operation on my voice.’
She went on to describe the scary operation saying: ‘You have to be awake while they do it. I was more afraid of never singing again than getting through the operation.’
‘The reason you have to be awake for the operation is that you have to sing during it so they know exactly what to do.’
She went on to discuss her new album and music videos saying: ‘It’s very free spirited I’d say, it was very fun.
‘I guess now I’m just feeling really comfortable in my own skin, it took me a while, I wish I’d gotten there sooner in my life, but better now than never.
‘This is my celebration album and it’s about celebrating music, being happy and putting myself great spirits!’
In 2020 she also opened up about her fears, saying on Loose Women: ‘There was a long time where I thought I would never sing again.
‘It took years to get to the bottom of what was affecting my voice. I would say probably a good seven years before a doctor was able to find out it was nerve damage to my vocal chords directly caused by Lyme disease.
‘I was out horse back riding in the forest and was bitten by a tick.’
The That Don’t Impress Me Much hitmaker said it had affected her speaking voice too and it made her very self-conscious and nervous.
She said at the time: ‘You start avoiding speaking on the phone, you start avoiding going to places with any ambient noise where you have to speak over the volume of others. It’s very debilitating.
‘Our voices are such a big part of our self expression and for a vocalist it’s devastating in so many ways.’
She added: ‘Until I got to the bottom of why I was having a problem with my voice, there wasn’t much I could do about it.
‘It took a long time and I did believe I would have to accept at some point I was never going to be able to sing again.
‘Thankfully I persevered and I’m making records again and putting on concerts.’
The star underwent a risky open throat surgery and fortunately she was able to return to singing.
The operation has had permanent effects on her voice but she has embraced the new sound.
She said: ‘My voice has changed, my speaking voice is definitely the biggest effort. As you can hear I get quite raspy and sometimes I have to make adjustments as I’m speaking. But singing because there’s more projection involved is easier.
‘I have more power when I’m singing now. I have more character I find and I enjoy singing again, speaking is the more difficult challenge for me than singing but I’ll take that.’
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