Photo: Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster
Despite the abuse she witnessed at home, Shania says she did love her stepfather. "My father was a beautiful man. He took us children in as his own. There were three of us girls, and he gave us so much. He worked hard for us, he took care of us the best he could. He always had a great sense of humor, he taught us to laugh, he taught us to carry on...he was proud of my singing. He was just a great guy. Everybody loved him," she says. "You have to learn to live with the good and the bad. [The bad] was extreme, I know. But as a child, you naturally cling to the good."
Tragically, when Shania was 22, her parents were killed in a car crash—turning Shania and her siblings' lives upside down. "I was an 8-to-10-hour car ride away," Shania says. "They explained to me on the phone that they were dead."
Strangely enough, Shania says she had a premonition that it was going to happen. Months before the accident, Shania dreamed her mother died and told her she was going to have to take care of things. "It was weird," she says. "Maybe it was my own sense of the responsibility that I'd always taken in the family anyway."