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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NEWS AND NOTES: Eric, Keith, Brothers Osborne, Kip, Tyminski, Luke, Sam, Shania

Eric Church and Keith Urban will headline next year’s Tortuga Music Festival, along with Florida Georgia Line. The three-day event, taking place April 6 – 8 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will also feature performances by Brothers Osborne, Kip Moore, Tyminski, Snoop Dog, Lucie Silvas, The Cadillace Three, Lee Brice, Dan + Shay and many more. Tickets for the festival go on sale December 1st at 10am ET at

In addition to the headliners Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Blake Shelton, Luke’s Crash My Playa event will also feature Maren Morris, Brett Young and Dustin Lynch. The annual festival will take place January 17th – 20th, 2018.

Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” music video has reached over 100 million views on Youtube.

NEWS AND NOTES: Luke, Lady A, LBT, Alan, Darius, Shania

Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Alan Jackson, CB30 will all perform during this year’s CMA Country Christmas. The show, hosted by Reba McEntire for the first time, will air November 27th at 8pm ET on ABC. Dustin Lynch, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young, Dustin Lynch, CeCe Winans and Dan + Shay will also perform during the show, which will be held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Darius Rucker will perform “Winter Wonderland” during ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration this year. The show will premiere November 30th at 9pm ET, as well as “Home for the Holidays” during Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration on Christmas Day.

The new revamp of American Idol, starring Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry as judges, will premiere Sunday, March 11th on ABC.

Shania Twain is featured in the new free mobile game Home Street, as an in-game character throughout the month of November. The international superstar, who recently released her new album NOW, is the first guest character to appear in the game.

NEWS AND NOTES: Shania, Darius, Luke, LBT, Sam, Dierks, Jon, Church, Strait, Stapleton, Kacey

Darius Rucker will appear on ABC’s The View on Wednesday (October 25th).

Shania Twain is featured on CBS’ The Talk on Wednesday (October 25th).

Luke Bryan is a special guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday (October 26th).

During the Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame celebration earlier this week, the NSAI presented the 10 Songs I Wish I’d Written Awards. The honorees included Little Big Town’s “Better Man (written by Taylor Swift), Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” (written by Sam, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally and Zach Crowell), “Different for Girls” by Dierks Bentley, featuring Elle King (written by JT Harding and Shane McAnally), Jon Pardi’s “Dirt on My Boots” (written by Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure and Rhett Akins) and Eric Church’s “Kill a Word,” which he co-wrote with Jeff Hyde and Luke Dick.

George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves have been announced as performers at next year’s Bayou Country Superfest. The festival will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Oreleans over the Memorial Day weekend. Tickets go on sale next Thursday (November 2nd).


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