Shania Twain’s life could be a great country music song.
In fact, there is a lot of material that can make a variety of great country music songs. He survived a difficult childhood, losing his parents in a car accident and at the height of his career, he was diagnosed with Lyme disease, a disease that caused him to temporarily lose his voice. And then, in the middle of recovery, her husband left her for another woman.
But Twain says those difficulties have brought him to where he is today.
“Every time something brings me down or tries to bring me down, it fuels more determination. I feel stronger now than ever before in my life. And, and it feels good,” Twain told CNN’s Chris Wallace in an interview for his new show, “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”
The program premieres Friday on HBOMax and also airs Sunday night on CNN.
Twain is currently working on his sixth solo project, his first solo album since 2017. The album’s first single, “Waking Up Dreaming,” will also be released on Friday.
He calls his new music “just the beginning of a new chapter.”
“It’s far from country,” he admitted of the song. “It’s boppy-poppy with high energy. In the video, I’m playing a very superstar, I’m dressing up. And having a lot of fun with fashion and looking like never before. It’s nice for me.”
This is the first time the Grammy-winning artist has taken risks with his songs and music videos.
The music video for “Any Man of Man” from her second album, in which Twain wears her midriff, attracted a lot of attention from fans and critics alike. Although the album was the best-selling country album of the year and won a Grammy, purists said his music wasn’t country enough.
“[They said] I am a lap dancer. No, you can’t show your middle. You’re going to offend everyone, you’re going to offend women because you’re going to turn them off and you’re going to turn men off because you have that attitude towards men,” she recalled industry executives telling her. “But I had to put that aside and go with my vision. Confidence in that.”
His confidence in his vision has earned him 18 Grammy nominations and earned him the title of one of the best-selling artists of all time.
“I really had a huge dream. From a very young age. I don’t know if I would ever be happy to go for that dream,” he told Wallace.
Twain’s “huge” dream was nearly crushed when he was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2004, during which he developed dysphonia, a disorder of the vocal cords that makes speaking, let alone singing, difficult.
“It was an unreasonable amount of work and pressure to survive as a recording artist. So I could do one little thing, but with so much work behind it, I thought, no, I’ll never be a real recording artist. And come out and sing live,” he said.
Twain ended up having surgery. Although the surgery was a risk, the singer said it was something she had to try.
“I’d have to put my singing career on hold, so I’m like, ‘Oh, sure, I’ll try this.’ And boy, can I scream now,” she said.
While dealing with her voice problems, Twain learned that her husband had been having an affair with her best friend.
“[There were] definitely moments I wanted to pick up and throw away somewhere on another planet,” he told Wallace. “Music was always my great escape, but since I couldn’t sing during that time, I didn’t have an escape anymore.”
In a twist, she ended up marrying Frédéric Thiébaud, the ex-husband of the woman who had an affair with her first husband. Twain credits Thiébaud with being important to his recovery.
“I’m getting to the bottom of how to get my voice back and I feel empowered. I have remarried. My husband is a tremendous support,” Twain said. “I have an incredible son, so I’m starting to feel like my life is coming together in a very bright and sunny way.”
Will Rabb contributed to this story.