Shania Twain opens up about how losing her voice and then her marriage devastated her career and emotions, and also shares the motivation and thinking that ultimately helped her to come back 16 years later even stronger and happier in an in-depth interview for the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine (ATM).
In her early 20s, Twain rose quickly to become a global icon and the top-selling female country artist in history, with a roster of hits including “Any Man of Mine,” “You’re Still the One,” “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” and dozens more. At the pinnacle of her career, Twain unexpectedly lost her voice after receiving a diagnosis of dysphonia (caused by Lyme disease), resulting in years of physical and emotional pain. As if losing her biggest asset was not heartbreaking enough, Twain discovered her husband had been cheating and the two filed for divorce. Although Twain suffered from depression and heartbreak, she used these painful experiences as motivation to recover and regain two things she had lost – a beautiful singing voice and a healthy marriage.
Today, Twain is back and better than ever with a revitalized voice, a loving family, a return residency in Las Vegas and even a budding film career – in 2019, she starred alongside John Travolta in Trading Paint, in which Travolta called her the “jewel of the film.” At 54-years-young, Twain has not only become more confident in her own skin, but also more comfortable with taking risks. She shares, “Sometimes I get overwhelmed coping with things, but experience also teaches you how to manage. When you get older, you have so much experience at falling and getting up. You’re not going to stop falling. But you will get better at getting up and brushing yourself off. I believe that. I’ve lived it.”
The following are excerpts from ATM’s February/March 2020 cover story featuring Shania Twain available in homes starting February and available online now at www.aarp.org/magazine/.
On losing her voice:
“I was slowly losing my voice and slowly losing my confidence. And nothing that I could achieve in my career made me feel good enough.”
On battling depression:
“There were days I didn’t really care if tomorrow came.”
On overcoming obstacles:
“Survival is everything. I was in quicksand. I panicked, like everybody does, but I didn’t surrender. I found a way out.”
On being comfortable in her own skin:
“I’m more comfortable with my body now than I was when I was younger. It was really a struggle back then. But with age, you ask: ‘OK, how many more years do I have to live, and do I really want to live them feeling negative about myself and the things I can’t change?'”
On getting older:
“Age brings perspective. Every day I learn something new. And I plan on doing that till the day I die.”
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.