Shania Twain recalls difficult childhood, 'Money is often at the root of domestic violence, which was the case for us'

Shania Twain recalls her difficult childhood as she reflects on how her parents struggled to financially support her and her siblings

Shania Twain recalls her difficult childhood as she reflects on how her parents struggled to financially support her and her siblings
(Image credit: Getty)

Shania Twain recalls her difficult childhood as she opens up about how she began her singing career and the challenges she faced including domestic violence at home.

In a new interview with the Guardian (opens in new tab), Shania Twain spoke openly about how her dreams of singing were seen as their way out of her family's money problems, but also a hobby that caused their family significant financial strain. 

"Putting gas in the car to go to a bar for me to sing," Shania said, adding, "That created a lot of tension and a lot of arguing between them. That was not very fun for me, as a child, being caught in the middle." 

Shania continued to explain that money problems were seemingly linked to the abuse she received from her stepfather.

She recalled, "I hated it. They wanted success for me, but they just couldn’t afford it. Money is often at the root of domestic violence, which was the case for us."

Despite not having the money to support her dreams, Shania praised her mother for being a "big, big supporter” of her work, continuing, "I was her hope, the one who would make it. I think she recognized the dysfunction in our lives, and thought that side would be solved somehow along the way. 

"She loved me as a mother as well, but she was very, very passionate about my talent. In terms of economic status, I couldn’t afford to go to a performing arts school – my education was in a bar."

Shania Twain

(Image credit: Emma McIntyre/AMA2019 / Contributor / Getty Images)

The singer admitted that even when she found success, she found it frustrating that her parents never got to see her reap the rewards of her hard work.

"When I started to win awards was when it really bothered me the most that my parents were not there to see the glory. Because I felt that they had sacrificed so much. And they deserved to share in those moments," she said.

"It was a treacherous relationship, anyway, for all of us. The sacrifice on their part was just suffering through all of those arguments. And, in the end, I make it and they’re not there to say: ‘Well, at least it was for something.’ It’s very painful. It’s very, very sad that they never got to see one moment of it."

Shania's parents Jerry and Sharon died in 1987 in a car accident. Although Jerry Twain was Shania's stepfather, she has always referred to him as her father as he legally adopted her and her two sisters when they were young, and her biological father divorced her mother and left their family when she was just two years old.

Shania Twain

(Image credit: Clive Brunskill / Staff / Getty Images)

Ahead of her album, Queen of Me, set to be released on February 3rd, the singer has spoken about how she has gained body confidence as she has grown older. Shania said she feels more confident than ever, a feeling which led her to pose nude for her album, with the star explaining, "I didn’t do it when I was younger, so I’m doing it now."

Similarly, Shania opened up on devasting double betrayal that saw her husband cheat on her with her best friend. In the interview with The Guardian, the You're Still The One songstress had only warm words for her ex-husband, the father of her only child.

"I really recognize him as one of the greats. With or without personal life, there’s nothing bad to say about the incredible music that was created. He was an important part of the story – not as an ex-husband, as an ex-music collaborator," she concluded.

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.