Shania Twain on recovering from surgery and losing her voice: 'I was petrified'

On Thursday morning, InStyle magazine released an interview with the iconic Canadian singer.

Shania Twain opened up to InStyle magazine about losing her voice and her new album. (Photo via Danielle Levitt/@daniellelevitt)
Shania Twain opened up to InStyle magazine about losing her voice and her new album. (Photo by Danielle Levitt for InStyle, used with permission) (Danielle Levitt/@daniellelevitt))

Shania Twain is back and better than ever.

On Thursday morning, InStyle magazine released an interview with the Canadian singer, who stars on the cover of the publication's Everybody's In special issue.

The 57-year-old opened up about her upcoming tour, her songwriting process and getting back to singing after enduring two "open-throat" surgeries.

The country-pop icon contracted Lyme disease in 2003 while horseback riding, and for "six or seven years" doctors couldn't figure out why her voice was fading and changing. Eventually, someone had a lightbulb moment and confirmed it was "nerve damage as a result of Lyme."

In 2011, Twain had two successful open-throat procedures where she got two Gore-Tex rods inserted to stabilize her throat. However, once the operations were complete, she was fearful to belt her signature twang.

"After I had the surgery, I was petrified to make a sound. I didn't know what was going to come out," she revealed, sharing that she sounded different when speaking and singing.

"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 when hearing her new voice for the first time. "It was a connection to the vocal cords and it came out very easily. I was really, really, really excited."

When asked to expand on how her new voice sounds, the "Man, I Feel Like a Woman!" songstress shared that she can sing louder than before the surgeries happened.

"It's easier for me to make loud sounds than it is to make soft sounds," Twain explained. "When the air is dry, it's harder to get that resonance. When I'm loud, it happens, which was the opposite problem before I got the surgery."

Despite the trials and tribulations of the surgeries and nearly losing her voice, the mother-of-one has found a silver lining and is sharing the important message with fans.

"It's a reminder, don't take time for granted," she said. "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."

Twain seized the "life's too short" mentality to the fullest with her upcoming album "Queen of Me," which drops on Feb. 3.

The Windsor, Ont.-native has released two songs from the record so far — "Waking Up Dreaming" and "Not Just a Girl" — which gave fans a chance to hear both her new voice and new musical vibe.

"It's more rhythmic in a lot of ways. That is very new to me, to the broadness of my recording style so far," Twain explained. "There's a lot more ‘get up and want to shake your body’ kind of thing. There's still some stomp in there, though. It's almost like everything is there, but a new dimension. I just really want to get up and dance to it myself."

However, while some songs are more groovy in nature, others have a more personal connection.

The song "Inhale/Exhale Air" came into existence after she battled a nasty case of COVID-19. While recovering, she saw an inspirational post while scrolling on her phone about a minister talking about air.

"... My lungs were filling up with COVID pneumonia and I was losing my air. I survived it, but it was iffy," Twain explained. "This minister, he just starts breathing in through his nose, out through his mouth. And I'm like, 'I still identify with this.' And he's like, 'Air.' He says, 'Air. What are you going to do with it?' What are you going to do with it? It's free, it's there, don't take it for granted. I celebrated it by writing a song about it."

However, the singer also revealed the uplifting nature of air.

"Air is in everything. Air is in the bubbles in our Champagne ... If we didn't have air, we wouldn't have Champagne. I know it's simplifying it," she said. "Obviously, we wouldn't be alive without air. But I take a playful perspective on it and it becomes celebratory."

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