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How Shania Twain’s Life changed after her parents’ sudden death

How Shania Twain's Life changed after her parents' sudden death

In the end, Twain was forced to take a break from the stage. “I was no longer able to be myself,” she said. “I had to let go of my own power to make my own experiences.”

how shania twains life changed after her parents sudden death

When her parents died, Shania Twain was only 22. She had one older sister, who had her hands full with her own children, so the responsibility of keeping her younger siblings alive fell on Twain’s shoulders. “My younger sister [pictured above] was still living at home, and my two younger brothers were still, you know, 13 and 14 years old,” she said on the “Making Space with Hoda Kotb” podcast in January.

The siblings wanted to stay together and no relative could take in both minors. “The only way to keep them together was for us to stay together,” she told Kotb. Twain, who had been singing in bars since childhood, found a stable singing gig at a resort in Huntsville, Ontario, and moved her siblings down there in June 1988, according to Robin Eggar. “Their family life returned to a semblance of normality,” she wrote in the 2001 biography. 

The extent of Twain’s potential was quickly evident. But the realization made her feel trapped. “I felt exploited, but I didn’t have a choice now,” she told The Times. “I had to play the glamorous singer, had to wear my femininity more openly or more freely.” With her past traumas still very much present, Twain felt uncomfortable embracing her body as an integral part of her stage presence. “[I had to] work out how I’m not gonna get groped, or raped by someone’s eyes, you know, and feel so degraded.”

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