Shania Twain Reveals Devastating Diagnosis That Affected Her Vocal Cords

Shania Twain is opening up about a devastating illness that affected her ability to sing.

The singer was on top of the world in the early 2000s, after the smash success of Come On Over and Up! — and then her world changed.

(Photo: Twitter / @kisstimmins)

"I saw a tick fall off me," Twain said in a phone interview, according to CBC.

Up Next: Watch: Lady Antebellum Honors Shania Twain With 'You're Still the One' Rendition

The country superstar was bitten by a tick in Norfolk, Virginia, and immediately started experiencing symptoms that affected her sold-out performances.

"I was on tour, so I almost fell off the stage every night," she said. "I was very, very dizzy and didn't know what was going on. It's just one of those things you don't suspect."

Twain sought out treatment and was then diagnosed with Lyme disease, a tick-borne bacteria that leads to flu-like symptoms and can spread throughout the body.

For the Canadian native, it led to to dysphonia, a vocal cord disorder that eventually left her unable to sing for awhile and forced her to undergo extensive speech therapy and vocal training.

"It's difficult work," she said. "It's like dealing with an injury. I'm just glad that it's not my heart or my kidneys or something like that. At least I can do something about it."

Though Twain was diagnosed with the disease right away, she didn't realize until recently that it was what led to her vocal issues.

"It took all these years to determine that," she said. "Then it was all about, "Now what do I do about it? How can I fix it?' So that took several years, just working out what therapy would work for me, without even knowing how well it would work in the end."

More: Shania Twain Reveals New Music Was Inspired by Her Divorce

"But with perseverance and determination, I was able to record the album and I was able to tour. Getting through all of that, I'm encouraged now and I feel like I can tour again and I'll make more records. So I'm feeling really successful with that challenge," she added.


Twain is one of several celebrities who have detailed their experience with the debilitating illness, including Avril Lavigne, Alec Baldwin and President George W. Bush.