Country singer Shania Twain is declaring herself the Queen of Me with her new album, her first in six years. The album was written during the lockdown of the pandemic, and one of the songs on the project was inspired by Twain’s own bout with Covid at home.
Shania Twain’s personal health struggles before the pandemic
Prior to the pandemic, Twain had overcome personal health obstacles that nearly prevented her from having a singing career at all. She was diagnosed with Lyme disease only after she began getting dizzy while performing every night. Later, she had to have surgery on her vocal cords due to her Lyme disease.
“My voice was never the same again,” she lamented in her 2022 documentary Not Just a Girl. “It just went into this strange flanging… lack of control of the airflow. I didn’t understand it.”
She was able to recover and return to the stage in the early 2010s for her first-ever Las Vegas residency show. In 2017, she released Now, her first album in 15 years since her Diamond-certified 2002 album Up!.
Shania Twain’s bout with Covid inspired a song on ‘Queen of Me’
During the pandemic, Twain couldn’t escape coming down with Covid, even in her heavenly home on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. But she told the Mirror that her experience was more serious than many others’, as she developed Covid-related pneumonia.
“It was progressively getting worse. My vital signs were getting worse… and in the end I had to be air evacuated,” she said.
“It was like science fiction, I felt like I was going to another planet or something,” she said of her airlift to the hospital. “It all kind of happened in slow motion.”
“My husband was freaking out, to be honest,” she added. “He was really panicking because he was the one having to pull it all together. He spent hours and hours every day on the phone, trying to get an air evacuation coordinated, trying to get a bed lined up, as there were none, checking my vital signs. It was just a real nightmare for him.”
Twain was treated with plasma therapy at the hospital, but she still had a way to go in her recovery. “It took several days to start building up any antibodies at all, so it was a very dangerous time and very scary,” she said. “I made it through and I’m just so grateful.”
Shortly after her experience, Twain began writing and recording her new album, Queen of Me. The track “Inhale/Exhale Air” was inspired by her “scary” Covid experience. “It’s a song of gratitude and appreciation,” she said. “I was inspired that I still had air in my lungs.”
She’s embracing herself fully on ‘Queen of Me’
Now, Twain is back on top with her physical and mental health primed for a new album release and a world tour spanning nearly all of 2023. For her, Queen of Me is all about her self-confidence three decades into her career.
“I’m feeling quite liberated in so many ways,” Twain said on the Making Space podcast. “I’m feeling positive and optimistic, but still at the same time unapologetic. I don’t feel like I need to explain myself as much as probably ever in my life. But I feel very responsible, still. The Queen of Me title for the album couldn’t be more fitting for where I’m at in my own mind.”