Shania Twain says in her new memoir that she was "ready to die" after finding out her first husband was cheating on her, although he has not confirmed this, and told Ellen DeGeneres that she now finds it easy to talk about the issue.
The 45-year-old country and pop star has been speaking to the press about the matter to promote her new memoir, "From This Moment On." Her new OWN reality series, "Why Not?," which also showcases her struggle and her journey to regain her voice after the scandal, debuted on May 8. The show gave Oprah Winfrey's new cable network its highest premiere ratings.
Twain has not released a new album in almost a decade and has not performed for an audience in almost five years. In 2008, Twain and first husband Robert "Mutt" Lange, a record producer and the father of her son Eja, separated after 14 years of marriage.
The singer would later learn that he was involved with her assistant and close friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud. She and Lange have not confirmed they were involved at the time. After Twain and Lange divorced, the singer married the bearer of the bad news - Thiebaud's husband, Frederic.
"Fred just called me up," Twain told DeGeneres on her syndicated talk show in a recent episode. "He just said, 'I have proof if you want it and I've been following it now for a few weeks and I've got hotel bills and all kinds of details.'"
"For the first week after finding out about the affair, I was ready to die - to go to bed forever and never wake up," Twain read from her book on an iPad on DeGeneres' program. "Or to hurt someone. I was ready to do something desperate, but in reality, there was nothing to do but to suffer through it. Fortunately, when you're a mom, the responsibility of caring for your child can keep you going."
"And that's what kept me going," she told the talk show host. It's easy for me to talk about it in the sense that I'm not angry when I talk about it anymore. "It's obvious that life just has to play out the way it's meant to and how can I complain with the way it's ended up?" On the reality show "Why Not? with Shania Twain," the singer says she has lost her ability to sing. She visits her childhood home in Canada, where she grew up in poverty. She also enlists the help of vocal doctors and coaches, a grief counselor and fellow music artists such as Lionel Richie and Gladys Knight in a bid to "reclaim her voice."
Twain had told Winfrey that after her marriage ended, a doctor told her that had dysphonia, a condition in which the muscles squeeze the voice box, making it difficult to swallow or sing. Twain attributes the problem to her fears.
"Stage fright, domestic violence in the home as a child, my parents dying, not knowing what's next - just all of these different stages of fear in my life," she told Winfrey. "I've just trapped my own voice, and now I've got to unwind all that."
Twain has dealt with tragedy most of her adult life. The singer, who was named Eilleen when she was born, grew up with two sisters and two half brothers and in 1987, her mother and stepfather were killed in a car accident. At age 22, Twain became her younger siblings' guardian.
The singer went on to concentrate on her music career and achieved mainstream success with hits such as "That Don't Impress Me Much" and "Still The One," last released a studio album in 2002. The record, "Up!" has sold more than 11 million copies in the United States.
In addition to two-day passes to the 2011 CMA Music Festival, Twain also surprised Winfrey's studio audience of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" with accommodations at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, a CMA statement said, adding that Twain also said she will host a private brunch for all of the audience members when they visit the city.
Twain last appeared at CMA Music Festival in 1996, when it was still known as Fan Fair. She will sign copies of her autobiography at this year's event but is not scheduled to perform, a spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com.