Shania Twain has paid tribute to her former husband Robert 'Mutt' Lange.
Although the pair had an acrimonious break-up in 2008 when Robert - who was also Shania's songwriting collaborator and producer - left her for pal Marie-Anne Thiébaud, she is thankful for his contribution to her career.
She told PEOPLE: "I was very lucky in the '90s to have had a collaboration with Mutt Lange, and to develop my art as a songwriter and a recording artist. He gave me all kinds of freedom and respected that - respected my opinions - and I grew in that period."
However, starting over without him by her side professionally was difficult for Shania.
She said: "I didn't know where to begin. I didn't know where to pick up. So I went back to square one and figured that finding myself alone wasn't such a bad thing, and maybe it was an opportunity to reacquaint myself with independence again, and test that independence and get back in touch with where I started."
Shania, 51, is making her long-awaited comeback this year, 15 years after she released the album 'Up', and since then she has dealt with her divorce and also the devastating effects of dysphonia, the result of Lyme disease, on her voice.
She said: "I was very scared for a little while that I wouldn't sing again, ever. I went through that moment, but I found a way. I found a way to do it."
However, she was determined to make a comeback for both herself and her fans.
She said: "The reality is that I'm a proactive person. I like to act on my thoughts. I like to materialise my ideas, and I feel compelled to share them.
"I'm sharing what I do for the response. I want my fans to love it. I want them to enjoy it. I want them to be inspired."
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