Shania Twain has had one of the biggest careers in country music, but she might not have even been a country music singer, if not for Wynonna Judd. The Canadian native recently opened up about how her early years were inspired by The Judds, and especially Wynonna’s signature voice.
“I was following The Judds so closely when they came out because I was yet to come out and Wynonna being in — she’s a similar age to me,” Twain said on Apple Music Hits’ Home Now Radio. “And I guess I would say I looked up to her and I was inspired by her. I mean, incredible vocalist, and her and her mom were just beautiful together vocally. People that I would consider salt of the earth. Honest, straightforward. They’re very loving, they’re fun, and just really easy to get to know.”
Twain’s childhood was anything but idyllic. She grew up amid poverty in Ontario, Canada, later raising her siblings by herself after her parents were tragically killed.
“Music was always a great escape for me and I very often would run away, close to home, just in the neighboring bush or in the backyard, somewhere in a corner with my guitar and escape what was going on at home,” Twain earlier revealed to Home Now Radio. “Which was, either there wasn’t enough food for dinner, so I figured I might as well go occupy myself doing something else so I’m not thinking about not eating. Or I was just escaping the fight between my parents and the violence that that always, most often erupted into.
“So music was a great escape and a place for me to lose myself and imagine and dream of being anywhere else,” she added. “I could make up stories and escape into those stories and it was wonderful therapy.”
Little did Twain imagine that her childhood inspiration would ultimately result in a lifelong friendship.
“I’m friends with Wynonna,” Twain reveals. “Her and I text regularly, checking up on each other, making sure we’re all doing okay. Talk about her kids. Talk about what’s growing in the garden, flowers. We send pictures to each other of what we’re picking and stuff. She likes to grow vegetables and things like that. So she’s always pulling up stuff from her garden and I’m often just taking photos of my bouquets from my garden and we send them to each other. It’s kind of fun.”