Shania Twain (Eileen Regina Edwards) was born the 28th of August,
1965, in Windsor, Ontario, to parents Sharon and stepfather Jerry
Twain, a forester by trade. The second oldest of five siblings,
Shania and her family lived in a rather unstable financial home.
Despite the family's financial troubles, the Twain home was always
full of music.
Shania indulged in writing and singing songs, and found inspiration
in popular contemporary tunes. Tammy Wynette and Willie Nelson
were among her favorite country musicians, while she also loved
such artists as Stevie Wonder, The Mamas and the Papas, and The
Shania's parents encouraged her to take her writing and singing
talents to the public, by waking her up in the middle of the night
and taking her to afterhour clubs to perform. By the time she
was 8, the Twains had taken their young ingénue to every
public venue; everywhere from church and community events to performing
with local bands at bars.
With the encouragement of her mother, Shania always made performing
a part of her life. While Shania spent her summer vacations from
high school helping her parents financially by taking on part-time
jobs, she still continued to be the lead singer of a cover band.
After graduating from high school, Shania went to Toronto to
attempt to further pursue her life-long dream of becoming a professional
Tragedy struck the Twain family when Shania's parents were killed
in a car crash, in 1987. She returned home from Toronto and became
the surrogate mother to her younger brothers and sisters. In order
to support her siblings, Shania worked at a resort, singing and
While singing show tunes at the resort for three years, Shania
continued to work on her career by releasing a demo tape that
a representative at Mercury Records in Nashville heard. When she
finally became a Mercury Records artist, Shania, who was still
known as Eileen Twain at the time, was urged to change her family
name for a name that would go better with Eileen. Loyal to her
family's origin, she chose the Ojibway name Shania instead.
"Shania", which means "I'm on my way" in
the Native American language, was indeed well on her way. While
her first album, Shania Twain was not successful, her second album,
The Woman In Me -- released in 1995 -- went on to sell 18 million
copies, more than any other female country artist. The album not
only broke records, it also spawned seven hit singles.
Two years later, Shania went on to shatter more records with
the release of her third album, Come On Over, selling 34 million
albums worldwide. Come On Over has become the best-selling album
by a female solo artist and the best-selling country album of
With huge hits such as "Man! I Feel Like A Woman" and
"That Don't Impress Me Much", it's no wonder that Shania
was featured as one of the divas to perform at VH1's Divas Live,
with fellow divas at large Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Mariah
Carey, and Gloria Estefan. The album of the live performances
was released in 1998.
The price of huge success is controversy, which Shania was no
stranger to. Die-hard country fans did not appreciate Shania's
assertive lyrics, which portrayed a strong, independent woman
behind the lyrics, nor did they like her midriff-baring look,
which practically became her trademark. Even more disturbing to
country fans was the fact that Shania did not hail from Nashville.
When not working as a Revlon cover model and breaking records
in both the pop and country charts, the navel-baring musician
is the wife of rock producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, who
produced her last two albums.
Shania and Mutt now live in Switzerland, where Shania is learning
to speak French. Following the extensive touring to promote Come
On Over, the couple took some well deserved time off to start
Shania gave birth to a son named Eja (pronounced "Asia")
on August 12, 2001. The arrival of Eja had put the release of
her fourth album, Up! on hold until November of 2002. She has
also rescheduled her next tour until sometime in 2003, but has
kept busy by performing at the American Music Awards and the Super
Bowl half-time show (where the general consensus was that she
was lip-synching). She is also set to host the 2003 Juno Awards,
Canada's answer to the Grammys.
Up! sold two million copies in the U.S. in its first month of
release, and has already spawned the hits "I'm Gonna Getcha
Good!" and the title track. Let's see what kind of records
she breaks this time around.