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"The perpetual undertow of financial instability took its toll in other ways, as it usually does, compromising my parents' love for each other at times and no doubt feeding my mother's recurrent bouts of depression," wrote Shania in her 2010 autobiography. and my parents' dying is by far the most devastating, the deepest grief, the greatest loss I have ever experienced. Shania says she "appealed to the emotional evolution" and found, she says, "strength".
It was a tough life for Shania and it was to get tougher when on November 1, 1987, her mother Sharon and stepfather Jerry were killed in a car crash: a head-on collision with a logging truck on an Ontario highway. "So, I started comparing it," she says referring to her mother and stepfather's tragic deaths and her husband's playing away from home with the woman she thought was her best friend. That was the perspective." I say to Shania Twain that some people might find it hard to believe that she is married to the husband of the woman who her husband had the affair with!
"I still can't believe he'd leave me to love her," she sings on Poor Me. "We leaned on one another through the ups and downs, taking turns holding each other.
It was said that all Jerry and Sharon Twain could have heard was a horn.
Born Eileen Regina Edwards on August 28, 1965 in Windsor, Ontario, Shania began performing at eight years of age with the house band at Timmins' Mattagami Hotel, and wrote her first song (Mama Won't You Come Out to Play) when she was 10 years old. After her parents' death, 22-year-old Shania, who was singing in Toronto, put her musical career on hold and returned to Timmins, her hometown, to physically and financially look after her younger siblings - her two half-brothers, Mark, then 14, and Darryl (13), and her sister Carrie-Ann (17), singing in the local golf resort six nights a week. (The family situation of the Twains was a complicated one, as Shania told me in 2003 in Dublin when I met her for lunch before her sold-out show in Nowlan Park in Kilkenny: "Then my mother and Jerry had another son several years later and then they adopted another child, my aunt's son.
Being worth an estimated 0m, being the top-selling female country singer of all time with over 60m albums sold didn't lessen the grief she went through.
"I was ready to die," Shania wrote in her 2010 memoir, From This Moment On. I just want peace." Shania's first husband's betrayal of her also had a physical effect - there was the heartbreak of discovering her husband's affair the day after he asked for a divorce. The stress of the divorce added to the dysphonia, which is a tension around the larynx.
My aunt committed suicide and the child - my adopted brother - was only six months old.