Bio

Shania Twain was born Eilleen Regina Edwards in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on August 28, 1965, the second oldest of five siblings. She was raised in Timmins, Ontario, about 500 miles due north of Toronto, where her adoptive father, an Ojibway Indian named Jerry Twain, and mother, Sharon, had both been raised. It was a proud but, at times, impoverished existence. They struggled to keep enough food in the cupboards, but there was always an abundance of music and love in the household.

“I grew up listening to Waylon, Willie, Dolly, Tammy, all of them… but we also listened to the Mamas and the Papas, The Carpenters, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. The many different styles of music I was exposed to as a child not only influenced my vocal style, but even more so, my writing style.”

Twain often grabbed a guitar and retreated to the solitude of her bedroom singing and writing until her fingers ached. “I grew up listening to Waylon, Willie, Dolly, Tammy, all of them,” she recalls. “But we also listened to the Mamas and the Papas, The Carpenters, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. The many different styles of music I was exposed to as a child not only influenced my vocal style, but even more so, my writing style.”

“No dream is a waste of time and energy, just like there’s no such thing as a dumb question.”

Her mom noticed Twain’s talents, and soon the youngster was being shuttled to radio and TV studios, community centers, senior citizens’ homes, “everywhere they could get me booked.” An 8-year-old Twain was often pulled out of bed to sing with the house band at a local club but only after alcohol sales ended at midnight. Later, Twain spent summers working with her stepfather as the foreman of a dozen-man reforestation crew in the Canadian bush, where she learned to wield an axe and handle a chain saw as well as any man. In the winter season, she would sing in clubs and do television and radio performances as often as her schooling would allow.

In 1987, at age 21, Twain lost her parents in an automobile accident. She took on the responsibility of raising her three younger siblings. She managed to keep the household going with a job at Ontario’s Deerhurst Resort, which not only provided for her new family responsibilities but also gave her an education in every aspect of theatrical performance, from musical comedy to Andrew Lloyd Webber to Gershwin. Three years later, with her brothers grown enough to take care of themselves, Twain was on her own. Shedding her real name, Eilleen, she adopted the Ojibway name of Shania, meaning “I’m on my way.” Twain recorded a demo tape of original music and set her sights on Nashville. Although Twain landed a record deal with Mercury Records on the basis of her original material, her self-titled 1993 debut album featured only one of her songs, the feisty “God Ain’t Gonna Getcha for That.” Singles “What Made You Say That” and “Dance With the One That Brought You” each peaked at No. 55 on the Billboard country singles chart. It took a phone call from a distant admirer, rock producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange (AD/DC, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Bryan Adams and many more) for Twain to find a true believer, both in her voice and her original songs. Twain and Lange met face to face in Nashville at Fan Fair in 1993 and married six months later, by which time they’d written half an album’s worth of tunes together. As 1994 unfolded, they traveled and wrote their way across the United States, Canada, England, Spain, Italy and the Caribbean. They began to lay down basic tracks for a new album in Nashville, later recording overdubs and mixing in Quebec.

The first results of their labor, “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under,” entered the Billboard country singles chart in January 1995, peaking at No. 11. Twain’s second album, The Woman in Me, debuted on the country albums chart the following month. The collection has sold 18 million copies, making Twain the best-selling country female artist of all time. The single “Any Man of Mine,” hit the charts in May and became the first of four consecutive No. 1 hits for Twain, including “(If You’re Not in It for Love) I’m Outta Here!,” “You Win My Love” and “No One Needs to Know.” The project won a Grammy for country album of the year and was named album of the year by the Academy of Country Music in 1995.

“My personal feeling is that if you are able to survive the climb of life on whatever mountain it is you’ve set out to master, and if in the bit between the base and the peak you learn something from both the good and the bad alike, and if you live to tell about it with gratitude, you’ve succeeded.”

Twain’s third Mercury collection, Come on Over, was released in 1997, two years after her last album. The project continued Twain’s hot streak, producing No. 1 hits “Honey, I’m Home” and “Love Gets Me Every Time.” The sultry ballad “You’re Still the One” went to No. 1 on the country singles chart and made it to No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart, solidifying Twain as a crossover artist. The sassy “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” a Top 5 country hit, helped secure the singer a contract with cosmetics company Revlon, which used the tune in TV ads featuring Twain. Come on Over has sold 11 million copies to date.

While The Woman in Me broke records and made Twain an international star, critics didn’t know what to make of her sexy image and independent approach to marketing her music. Instead of touring to promote the record, Twain made a series of sexy videos, one of which was shot on location in Egypt. The singer finally mounted her first major tour in 1998 following the release of Come on Over. The highly anticipated outing helped earn Twain entertainer of the year trophies from the ACM and the Country Music Association in 1999. Twain has won a total of five Grammys, including two for best country song (“Come on Over” and “You’re Still the One”) and two for best country female vocal performance (“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “You’re Still the One”). She also has taken home trophies from the Canadian Country Music Awards, Canada’s JUNO Awards and the American Music Awards. In 1999, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) named Twain both country songwriter of the year and pop songwriter of the year. Her ballad, “You’re Still the One,” was named BMI’s country and pop song of the year.

“Although not my thinking when I wrote the song, I believe like any song, it belongs to whomever claims it, and its purpose becomes whatever it means to that individual.”

At the top of her game, Twain retreated to her home in Switzerland with her husband at the end of 1999. She and Lange welcomed their first child, a son named Eja, together in the summer of 2001 while preparing her 2002 release Up!, featuring the hit single “I’m Gonna Getcha Good.”

 Twain released her “Greatest Hits” album in the fall of 2004. She was also featured on the “Desperate Housewives” soundtrack in 2005 and sang a duet with Canadian legend, Anne Murray, in 2007.

In 2008, Twain and Lange divorced.  In April 2010, Shania joined forces with Oprah Winfrey’s new television network, OWN, to star in a six-episode docu-series titled, Why Not?  With Shania Twain.  Why Not?  is set to premiere in May 2011.  Twain is also releasing her first memoir in the spring of 2011 with Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster.  On January 1, 2011, it was announced that Twain and Swiss businessman, Frederic Thiébaud, were married in Puerto Rico.  It is the second marriage for both.

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MOTHER’S DAY 2018

Mother’s Day is on Sunday (May 13th), and some of your favorite country artists are celebrating the mothers in their lives this weekend. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Here are some of your favorite country stars honoring all of the Moms out there with stories of their own.

Audio / Brandon Lay says he probably gets his work-ethic from his Mom.

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Brandon Lay (Mother’s Day) OC: …comes from her. :2
“She works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen. She can outwork most 20-year-olds in the yard still. She grew up on a farm, and I think a lot of that just bulldog it and get it done attitude, I probably get from her. She’ll go from sunup to sundown, and she doesn’t complain, and that’s just so rare. I feel like the work ethic, as far as grind it out and get it done, that toughness comes from her.”

Audio / Carrie Underwood says she doesn't really have any Mother's Day traditions, but she sure enjoys being a Mom to Isaiah.

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Carrie Underwood (Mother’s Day traditions) OC: …even more so. :40
“We don’t really have like any Mother’s Day traditions. I feel like I remember me and Dad making breakfast for Mom like once as a kid. I’m pretty sure we just made a giant mess in the kitchen and we never did that again, so. Being on the other side of things, I obviously don’t expect anything from my three-year-old, but my husband’s really good at getting presents from quote unquote Isaiah. It’s really sweet, because he likes to bring me things. He’s such a sweet little guy, and anytime he’s outside, he’ll pick me flowers and things. So, I’m like, ‘You’re learning. You’ve already got me wrapped around your finger, and then you do stuff like that, and it’s even more so.’”

Audio / Clare Dunn talks about the support and undying devotion her mom has for her and her sister.

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Clare Dunn (Mother’s Day) OC: …in the world. :41
“She is unrelenting in her love and her support, and even when we’re crazy kids and we screw up, it doesn’t matter. Her love knows no bounds. And her undying devotion to her kids – to my sister and I – always believing in us a million percent, always backing us up a million percent and helping us navigate life and navigate our dreams and helping us go towards that goal – those are some of the qualities that I hope to have some day as a mother, you know? And I’m so grateful I have THE best mom in the WORLD!”

Audio / Darius Rucker talks about not disappointing his beloved mother, who passed away in 1992.

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Darius Rucker (Mother’s Day) OC: …killed me. :17
“I think that’s the main reason I am how I am…an innate fear of disappointing my mom.  My mom’s not even alive, and I have a fear of her looking down from heaven and going, ‘Man I’m just disappointed in my son.’ She could have said anything in the world to me, but if she would have said, ‘Son, you just disappointed me,’ That would have killed me. It would have killed me.”

Audio / Darius Rucker’s mother, who passed away in 1992, was always the singer’s biggest supporter.

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Darius Rucker (Mother) OC: …in my corner. :44
“My mom was just always great. She worked a lot. She was a nurse and she worked a lot. She took a lot of overtime and stuff to make sure we could live basically, but she always just so supportive, ever since I was a kid. I was always a music kid. Growing up in an African-American neighborhood, I was never that guy who was gonna be pigeonholed to let people say I could only listen to this and I could only do this, because I was African-American. She always supported whatever I wanted to do, whatever I wanted to listen to, wherever I wanted to go, she always had my back. Going to college and everything, she was my biggest supporter and never let my brothers and sisters knock me down or try to tell me I can’t do this or that. All of my success comes because my mother was always in my corner.”

Audio / Dierks Bentley recognizes and appreciates how much work goes into being a mother.

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Dierks Bentley (Mother’s Day – Cassidy) OC: …to have her. :31
“It’s the toughest job out there being a mom, and I know from my life with my wife Cassidy. We work as a team together when I’m home, and it takes everyone to get the job done, me and her, working together. So, when I go on the road, I just have so much respect for her because it’s hard to do it right, if you want to do it great, and she does a great job with it. It’s really rewarding, but it’s also very challenging. I’m so thankful that she takes it on the way she does, and our kids are very lucky to have her.”

Audio / Eric Church says he’s learned quite a bit from his mom.

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Eric Church (Mother’s Day) OC: …as a man. :57
“My mom, even though my dad won’t like this, my mom is by far the toughest person that I’ve met. She’s tough. One of those people that’s been through a lot in her life, adversity wise and never complains, always really resilient with anything that’s happened to her. And it’s just that attitude, the positive attitude, regardless of what has happened that I think is the one thing that I got from her. With career, she’s always been a person that’s been really positive through times that I couldn’t find a positive streak, [laughs] and she was always really positive, and very much believes in tough it out, keep working hard, and that’s her motto with stuff like that. I’ve always been impressed with that stuff. Then musically, she’s where I get my talent from, musically. She sings great, always has, her mom sang great. I owe my musical chops to her. And she still sings some. So, career-wise, I owe her everything. And just in life-wise she’s given me a lot of the qualities that it has taken for me to get me where I am. Not only as a musician, but as a man.”

Audio / Eric Paslay talks about his mother, Donna.

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Eric Paslay (Mother’s Day) OC: …it’s good. :21
“I wanna thank my mom for giving me faith, laughter and pride in the family I came from. She’d be the fun Mom, just goofing off in the sprinklers outside or we’d go out and play in the rain and all that stuff growing up. She’s always good to be around; always happy, and it’s good.”

Audio / Jon Pardi says his mother, Shelly, is an angel.

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Jon Pardi (Mother’s Day) OC: …worrying about me. :29
“My mom’s always been there for me. First of all, she’s a great mom. She’s an angel. She takes care of people that aren’t even in the family. She’s always been like that, and she’s a great mother. She’s always proud, and she’s always there supporting and being a great mom. She’s just a good human being. There’s not one mean bone in her body. And she cries about every time I talk to her. She always worries about me. I have to tell her, ‘Stop worrying about me.’”

Audio / Jordan Davis says he’s a “Mama’s Boy” and hopes he has her kindness and positive outlook.

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Jordan Davis (Mother’s Day) OC: …Mother’s Day. :30 [laughs]
“I’m a Mama’s Boy. I love my Mom, and it’s the way she finds the good in everything. With my Mom, as opposed to finding anything negative, she’s gonna find something positive first. That’s something I really hope I can be more like her on; one of the many things I wish I could be more like my mom on. My mom, she loves flowers, so we’ll get her flowers or take her to, we’re slowly getting her into sushi, so we love to take Mom out to sushi spots on Mother’s Day.” [laughs]

Audio / Keith Urban explains why his wife Nicole Kidman is an extraordinary mother to their two children, Sunday and Faith.

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Keith Urban (Nicole is extraordinary mother) OC: …to see. :45
“She’s an extraordinary mum, she really, really is. Those girls are very, very lucky, and I feel very lucky that the children I should have in this world happen to be with Nic. I don’t know anything about raising kids and Nic does, and that comes in extremely, um, it’s really made for an experience I wouldn’t have had without that. Her patience, her recognizing them as people and not just little kids is really extraordinary. Her attention to honoring their feelings and listening to them right from day one – really being attentive to that is not how I was raised at all, so it’s really beautiful to see.”

Audio / With Mother’s Day on Sunday, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley explains he and his brothers – Josh and John -- owe their mother a lot for all of their childhood antics.

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Charles Kelley {Mother) OC: …playing music. :23
“We were honestly, at times, pretty hard to handle, both of us. We used to play our music loud up above on the second floor [of the house], bang on the drums and the guitar. And my mom’s just one of those people, she’ll do anything for her family and she sacrificed a lot for us boys. Anytime we needed something, she made it happen. And so, we owe her a lot. She’s definitely the reason we’re playing music.”

Audio / Lauren Alaina says she can count on her mom for just about everything.

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Lauren Alaina (Mom) OC: …same for her. :19
“I honestly would not be able to do it without my mom. I get overwhelmed sometimes, and if she wasn’t there to comfort me or tell me, ‘Look just realize what you’ve got going for you,’ I’d be up the creek [without a paddle]. She’s got my back. My mom would walk through a fire pit for me, and I’d do the same for her.”

Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild says being a mother to Elijah Dylan Westbrook is the best feeling in the world.

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LBT (Mother’s Day-Karen) OC: …every day. :23
“There isn’t anything that means more to me than sitting on the bench and eating a grilled cheese sandwich with this little guy who calls me Mama. There isn’t anything better than that. He’s just a little miracle. I went from dreaming about him to eating grilled cheese sandwiches and ketchup with him, and I could never have dreamed this up – how good it could be, and it just gets better every day.”

Audio / Maddie & Tae’s Tae Dye said she pulled off a great Mother’s Day surprise a few years ago.

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Maddie & Tae (Mother’s Day-Tae) OC: …was so fun. :25
“To this day one of the best surprises I’ve ever pulled off was on Mother’s Day three years ago. ‘Cause my mom’s birthday always tends to fall on Mother’s Day Weekend – it’s coming up – and my mom and dad were coming into Nashville and I was like, ‘Okay-this has got to be a big weekend. It’s Mother’s Day, her birthday and the weather was going to be beautiful, so I planned this awesome surprise where we would drive first – she wouldn’t know where we were going, and then we ended up going canoeing down the Harpeth River [located south of Nashville] and it was so fun.”

Audio / Shania Twain says it’s such a joy to be a parent.

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Shania Twain (joy to be a parent) OC: …means everything. :14
“It’s such a joy to be a parent. So, I relate to all the mums out there who are getting all their love and appreciation from their kids, and I hope, when you’re a kid, a child of somebody, show your mum you love her, because it means everything.”

Audio / Travis Denning talks about what he and his Mom have in common.

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Travis Denning (Mother’s Day) OC: …like crazy. :29
“You know, my favorite thing about my mom, especially as I get older, is realizing how much me and her have in common. I just love that she’s passionate about music. She loves it. I mean, she’s turned me on to a lot of artists, but at the core like she’s still Mom. She reminds me to do things and does these things which that I couldn’t live without. I love that we get to be friends, we get to be best friends, but at the same time, she’s still Mom and she still loves me and my sister like crazy.”

MOTHER’S DAY LINERS 2018

Audio / LINER Brandon Lay (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Brothers Osborne

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Audio / LINER Carrie Underwood (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Clare Dunn (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Mother's Day) 2

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Audio / LINER Dierks (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Eric Church (Mother's Day) 1

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Audio / LINER Eric Paslay (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER George Strait (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Jordan Davis (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Josh Turner (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Kacey Musgraves (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER LBT (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Maddie & Tae (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Shania Twain (Mother's Day)

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Audio / LINER Travis Denning

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NEWS AND NOTES: Keith, Kacey, Shania

Keith Urban will perform on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday (April 30th).

Kacey Musgraves has been announced as one of the performers at Japan’s biggest music festival, Fuji Rock Festival ’18. She’ll be joined by such acts as Bob Dylan, Kendrick Lamar, Skrillex, Fishbone and Jack Johnson for the three-day festival running July 27th through July 29th.

Shania Twain is set to host the Canadian Country Music Association September 9th at the First Ontario Center in Hamilton Ontario.

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