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Shania Twain Says Lyme Disease Caused Her Dysphonia

Shania Twain dysphonia Lyme disease
Nicholas Hunt, Getty Images for Billboard Magazine

In 2011, Shania Twain revealed that she was struggling with dysphonia, a disorder that can cause a person’s vocal cords to seize up when speaking or singing. At the time, during a chat with Oprah Winfrey, the country star blamed the condition on a number of traumatic events in her life, but now, she says it was Lyme disease that caused her vocal issues.

In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Twain attributes her dysphonia to Lyme disease, and notes that dysphonia is different from another vocal trouble that singers often encounter, nodules on their vocal cords: “With nodules, you can’t speak; you’ve got to rest, rest, rest,” Twain tells the newspaper. “With mine, you’ve got to work, work, work.”

In 2015, Twain explained that she fights her dysphonia through careful planning and show pacing. She tells the LA Times that she follows a strict warmup regimen and performs voice-strengthening exercises.

Shania Twain Through the Years

Twain spent 2012-2014 performing a Las Vegas residency, and in 2015, she embarked on her (perhaps not-so-final) Rock This Country Tour. On Saturday (April 29), she will perform at the 2017 Stagecoach Country Music Festival — and, during her set, she’ll debut her brand-new single, “Life’s About to Get Good.” The song is Twain’s first from a forthcoming, still-untitled album.

“I was at home, looking out at the ocean, and I said to myself, ‘Here I am stuck in this past of negativity, but it’s so beautiful out. I’m not in the mood to write a feeling-sorry-for-myself song,’” Twain recalls of the inspiration for “Life’s About to Get Good.” “You can’t have the good without the bad. And that’s what the song ended up being about.”

Twain says that the chorus of “Life’s About to Get Good’ is “very celebratory and very happy.” She also notes that the song is “optimistic.”

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