'Change is a relief': Shania Twain on surviving tough times and always looking to the future

'Staying still to me is too vulnerable of a place to be,' says the Canadian music icon. 'You never want to be stuck anywhere.'

Shania Twain has not only survived the music business to become one of the biggest-selling artists of all time, she has also battled her way through childhood abuse, a very public divorce, the loss of her voice and Lyme disease. Miraculously, she still came out on top.

Twain is nominated for two Junos: artist of the year, and album of the year for her latest release Now. She talked to Tom Power about that new album, getting through tough times, and always looking to the future. Here is some of what she had to say. You can watch the full interview above.

On the name of her new album

I have an anxiousness about staying still. Staying still to me is too vulnerable of a place to be. You never want to be stuck anywhere. So I'm always moving forward — and my challenge is to not rush ahead, to actually enjoy where I am, and not miss a lot of great things, which was my tendency for many, many years. So that's another reason why I call the album Now.

On losing her voice, and being unable to sing for seven years

I really believed I would never sing again. It was terrible. Terrible. For me singing is a sense. It would be like losing your sight or your hearing. For me that's what it was like. And I was grieving. It was a real loss.

On whether she tells her son about her difficult past

I don't want to burden him with the challenges of my life. I don't want to be ho-hum either, or one of those parents who say, 'When I was your age things were really shitty and you've got it made.' I don't really want to burden him with feeling guilty just because his life is better than mine when I was growing up. But I do like to share with him who I am — and my experiences made me who I am.

On how her new album is the most personal she has ever written

I put myself through a lot of emotional turmoil when I write music and certainly to date it's the most personal music I've ever written. … But it was very necessary for me to go through that process of reviewing and analyzing and working through, whether it was things from my childhood or things as a parent or things from my divorce. They're all in there.

On getting through tough times

You know there were many, many phases of my life that were day-by-day emotional and mental survival, and I would think to myself, 'Alright, well today is the worst. But thank God for tomorrow. And tomorrow will be will be different. Even if it's not better, it will be different.' Change is a relief.

Produced by Mitch Pollock


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