How Shania Twain dealt with 'debilitating' health diagnosis that left her unable to sing

The country superstar feared she would never perform again

Shania Twain is one of the best-selling female artists in the history of country music – but there was a time she feared she would never be able to perform again.

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The 56-year-old was unable to sing for several years after she was diagnosed with Lyme disease following a bite from an infected tick while horseback riding in Norfolk, Virginia in 2003. The bacterial infection caused nerve damage to her vocal cords which led to her losing her voice.

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"I lost my voice for several years and I could speak but I couldn't yell," the country singer told The Sun in 2017. "I could never yell for my dog or my son or whatever."

Shania was forced to take a break from performing, with her admitting in 2020 that she thought she would never sing again.

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"There was a long time I thought I would never sing again," she revealed on the British talk show Loose Women. "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 that it was nerve damage to my vocal cords directly caused by Lyme disease."

Shania was unable to perform for several years

Shania also previously admitted that the "debilitating" illness left her feeling sad and depressed.

"I also felt that I was never going to make another album — that was probably my truth. It was devastating. I really grieved about that. It did bring me down and I struggled with it every day," she told The Sun.

"It was very depressing, and I was really sad about it, but I still had my writing, and my writing is my first love, really, over everything. I was only going to be a writer and not the performer," she added.

Shania is now back to her best performing in Las Vegas

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Shania spent years battling to get her voice back, which she described as a "very long, drawn-out process", and involved multiple throat surgeries to try to correct the damage.

Thankfully, she stuck with it and is now able to perform again, having just finished the first leg of her Let's Go! residency in Las Vegas.

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