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As a world-famous country singer, Shania Twain knows a thing or two about singing a love song. With hits like "You're Still the One" or "Any Man of Mine," she's made it clear she has some experience in that department. These days, she's promoting her new documentary Not Just a Girl on Netflix and living a life of bliss with her husband of 11 years, Frédéric Thiébaud. But their road to happiness came after overcoming an intertwined heartbreak.
The couple first met in the 1990s and at the time, they were both married to other people. She was with producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, and the Swiss businessman was wed to Marie-Anne Thiébaud. When Mutt hired Marie-Anne to be the family's assistant, she quickly became one of Shania's dear friends. They were so close, the foursome would even take vacations and spend the holidays together.
"The person to comfort me was Fred because he's been through the exact same thing," Shaina told Oprah Winfrey about the beginnings of the couple's relationship. "Fred was safe. So it was really a beautiful and perfect friendship."
But with mutual heartbreak came an unexpected love story. Shania and Frédéric fell in love, and were often seen vacationing together with her son, Ejia, and his daughter, Johanna.In December 2010, their relationship was sealed when the duo confirmed their engagement.
In a letter to fans on her official website, Shaina opened up about what the time after her marriage ended had been like. "In the last two and a half years of adjusting to life after separation and divorce, I needed to lean on others more often than I was accustomed to,” she wrote.
Among those supporting her was Frederic. “I am excited to share some personal news with you; I’m in love!" she added. "Frederic Nicolas Thiebaud has been a true gift to me as a compassionate, understanding friend and over time, an amazing love has blossomed from this precious friendship. Fred and I are happy to announce, our ENGAGEMENT!”
Shania and Frédéric tied the knot on New Year's Day 2011, with a rep telling People, "They were married at sunset in Rincon, Puerto Rico, in front of 40 of their closest family and friends." But that was just the beginning. While her first marriage had her being in the public eye, she told Redbook that her second husband was fond of creating little private moments between the two of them.
She revealed to the magazine how seeing him experience the same vulnerable situation caused her to fall for him. "I got to observe Fred going through the same thing I was, and I admired how he handled it," Shaina told the outlet. "That is where I fell in love with him, because he was so exemplary in every way."
Throughout the early years of their marriage, Shania achieve many career highs. She kicked off a two-year residency in Las Vegas in 2012, and credited her husband for providing the strength to go onstage after almost a decade. She starred in a number of projects, including 2020's I Still Believe. But as she continued to battle Lyme disease, Frédéric quickly proved to be a constant force by her side. The country singer was bit by a tick in 2003 which carried the condition and affected her vocal chords.
More than a decade after first sharing their grief for the loss of their marriages, he's there for her and Shaina thanks him for that.
"I'm so grateful I found the faith and courage to love again — because the last thing you want to do when you're crushed is love again," the country singer told People in February 2020. "When you have a great loss, you lose faith; you get very discouraged. I'm sure a lot of people say, 'I'm never going to love again. I never want to fall in love again.' Songs have been written about that. I'm really glad that that got turned around for me, and that's what this relationship is."
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