Shania Twain Talks Lyme Disease, Recovery From Open-Throat Surgery

Shania Twain
Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive

Shania Twain attends the 23rd annual Keep Memory Alive 'Power of Love Gala' benefit for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 16, 2019 in Las Vegas.

After a long stint out of the spotlight, Shania Twain is ready for her live comeback, and set for a Las Vegas residency. But it’s been anything but fun and games in the leadup.

The Canadian country-pop star has spoken once more about her time out recovering from Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by ticks, and how multiple bouts of surgery took its toll on her vocals and her mental health.

Twain lost her voice for several years after she contracted the illness back in 2003, which contributed to dysphonia, a disorder of the vocal cords.

The 53-year-old singer underwent a brace of “very intensive” open-throat operations to correct the condition, she told Extra.

The procedures were “really, really, really tough and I survived that — meaning emotionally I survived — and am just ready to keep going,” she added.

The Ontario native stepped out of the spotlight for more than a decade as she processed the damage. “When you’re a singer and it’s your voice, it is just a terrible, terrible feeling,” she recounted. “It was a great, great loss, so I had to come to terms with losing the voice that I had and rediscovering my new one.”

Twain’s voice will never be what it was. The damage is permanent, it’ll get progressively worse over time and she may require more work in future. But she’s staying positive. “It’s been a long, a really rewarding, journey,” she explained. “What I’ve learned in the interim through therapy is how to manipulate my voice to get it to do what I want it to do or at least close enough.”

Twain first opened up on her battles with Lyme disease, which she characterized as “such an evil silent thing,” in a 2017 interview with E! News.

Illness don't impress her much. She’s back and booked for a Las Vegas residency, slated to kick off at the Zappos Theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Dec. 6. It’ll be her second headlining run in Sin City.

One of the best-selling female artists in history, Twain’s fifth and most recent studio album Now went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after its release in September 2017.