Shania Twain speaks out on her battle with Lyme disease: 'There was a point where I thought I'd have to accept that I'd never be able to sing again'

By Heather Cichowski

Shania Twain's voice is iconic and something fans have listened to for years, so it is terribly sad to hear the Canadian icon feared she might never be able to sing again after her battle with Lyme disease caused nerve damage to her vocal cords.

The heartbreaking admission came when the 54-year-old appeared virtually on Loose Women.

"There was a long time I thought I would never sing again," the "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" singer said.

"It took years to get to the bottom of what was affecting my voice, and I would say probably a good seven years before a doctor was able to find out that it was nerve damage to my vocal cords directly caused by Lyme disease, and I was just out horseback riding in the forest when I got bit by a tick, a Lyme tick."

An emotional Shania talked about the impact of losing her voice and the changes she made in life, including avoiding social situations and places that had a lot of ambient noise. Co-host Jane Moore, who lost her voice for 18 months, expressed how she felt in the situation.

"It's very debilitating. Our voices are such a huge part of our self-expression," the country singer said. "And for a vocalist, for a singer, obviously, and for someone like yourself [indicating Jane], it's devastating in so many ways."

The "From This Moment On" singer said until she figured out what was causing her voice issues, there wasn't a lot that she could do about it.

"There was a point where I thought I'd have to accept that I'd never be able to sing again," she confessed.

"Thankfully I persevered and I'm making records again, and putting on concerts."

MORE: Shania Twain is producing and writing music for a TV adaptation of 'Heart of Texas'

Shania has previously opened up about losing her singing voice. She has discussed her dysphonia, a medical condition that causes vocal paralysis, and how she thought it was originally linked to stress, when it was actually associated with her Lyme disease.

Like she mentioned, the Canadian icon contracted Lyme disease, a bacterial infection, after getting bit by a tick while horseback riding in Norfolk, Virginia in 2003.

“I learned a lot about myself, and my voice, both because I’d been having a lot of problems with my voice prior and because this was a real plunge into the unknown,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 2017.

Shania Twain performing at the 2019 American Music Awards on Nov. 24, 2019. Photo: © Kevin Mazur/AMA2019/Getty Images for dcp

The singer detailed how she went through extensive physical therapy to get her voice back prior to the start of her residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which went from 2012-2014.

Later, she went on a hiatus from 2015 and underwent two surgeries, including a "very intense" open-throat operation, before she performed again in 2017, and embraced being able to express herself through song with her "new gravely" singing voice.

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