Country Throwback: Shania Twain Discusses Early Fame and Loss of Parents in 1995 Interview

by Jennifer Shea

Country star Shania Twain had to cope with the loss of her parents when she was just 21. By the time her singing career took off, they were already gone.

In a 1995 interview with the CBC, Twain spoke about what it was like to lose her parents in a car crash at such a young age. And she described what their reaction would have been to her then-newfound fame.

Shania Twain Healed With Time

“Time is a great healer, for one thing,” Twain said. “You start looking more towards the future as time goes on and stop wishing for what will never happen. They’re never gonna be here to ever celebrate any of these things. But as a family we’ve all kind of, we’re getting over that together.”

“Both my sisters have had children since my parents died,” she added. “They have to accept the fact that, you know, my parents will never see their children. And their children will never know my parents.”

Twain said her love for her family helped get her through the devastating loss of her parents.

“I mean, when I look at them dealing with those things… I mean I hardly can complain that [my parents are] not gonna be around to see my career happen,” she explained. So “I look at my family and they inspire me a great deal. And I think that that is what makes it easier for me to get through it and not live in the past wishing, wishing, wishing.”

A Tough Childhood

The Canadian-born singer had a difficult relationship with her mother, Sharon. She told Rolling Stone that Sharon was sometimes too depressed to get out of bed. Twain’s stepfather was reportedly abusive. And Twain has described being desperately hungry at times as a child because her parents couldn’t afford to feed her and her siblings.

Still, Twain seemed to suggest that in the aftermath of their deaths, none of that mattered.

“But I can guarantee you that they would be jumping for joy” at her success, Twain said of her parents. “I am writing and recording my own music. This is a luxury for a singer-songwriter, to be able to record their own music. It’s a true luxury.”

Watch the interview here: