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.
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.”
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.
Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker (with Brad Paisley), Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are among the all-star lineup of performers for ACM® PRESENTS: OUR COUNTRY, a two-hour special featuring intimate conversations and at-home acoustic performances with Country Music’s biggest stars, along with clips from the Academy of Country Music Awards’™ 55-year history. Kelsea Ballerini,Kane Brown & John Legend, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani will also perform. The special will be broadcast Sunday, April 5th at 8pm ET/PT; 7pm CT on CBS and CBS All Access.
ACM® PRESENTS: OUR COUNTRY will also honor 10-time ACM Award® winner Kenny Rogers with performances by Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker. As previously announced, artists will appear from their homes to share heartfelt thoughts and perform acoustic versions of Country hits. Additionally, video clips from previous ACM Award broadcasts will highlight favorite ACM moments from the past. It will be a night filled with entertainment, hope and reflection, bringing the healing power of music to Americans at a time when they need it most.
The special will broadcast during the time slot previously scheduled for the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, which will now be broadcast Wednesday, Sept. 16 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network and streaming live and on demand on CBS All Access. The 55th ACM Awards, hosted for the first time by reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year and 15-time ACM Award winner Keith Urban, honors the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry.
About ACM® PRESENTS: OUR COUNTRY
ACM® PRESENTS: OUR COUNTRY invites fans to join their favorite superstars for a new kind of entertainment special featuring at-home acoustic performances with top Country artists along with clips of their favorite moments from the Academy of Country Music Awards’™ 55-year history. ACM PRESENTS: OUR COUNTRY is produced for television by dick clark productions. R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco and Amy Thurlow are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music®.
Shania Twain was recently interviewed by ABC’s Sara Haines from the Strahan, Sara and Keke Show. The global superstar talked about her voice and not being able to sing for seven years, her new show in Las Vegas, as well as her rough childhood, her marriage and now her acting career. Check out the interview below.
Shania Twain will appear on ABC’s The View on Friday (February 7th).
Shania Twain is extending her Let’s Go! Vegas residency at Zappos Theater with new shows August through December. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 14th at 10am PT. Get more information here.
Vince Gill, Sam Hunt, Kacey Musgraves and many more artists will be featured in the new film, Bluebird, which chronicles the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville. The movie, which will also include Garth Brooks, Maren Morris, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Pam Tillis, Trisha Yearwood, Eric Paslay and Steve Earle, will air February 19th at 8pm ET on CMT.
Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are among the artists featured in the new Time Life blu-ray video, CMA Awards Live Greatest Moments: 2008-2015, on March 3rd. Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will also be included.
Parker McCollum will perform at the Born & Raised Music Festival June 5th – 7th in Pryor, Oklahoma. Tickets to the three-day event, which will also feature performances by Willie Nelson and Hank Williams, Jr., go on sale February 14th.