The beautiful, talented and successful artist is one of the biggest names in country music. Shania Twain (née 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 Carpenters. 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 singer/songwriter. 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 dancing. 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 all-time. 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 a family. 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.
The Shania Twain story has opened on a new and exciting chapter, and the only way is UP! That's the title of the much anticipated follow-up to Come On Over, the most successful female solo artist album of all time with world wide sales of an astonishing 34 million.
Follow that? You bet. The great news for Shania fans across the globe is that she's completed one of the most exciting and ambitious recording projects of the new millennium. Not to mention that she's totally energised by a fresh creative momentum that has led to her completing a spectacular new record, co-written with her husband and producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange.
Refreshed and ready to rock after a sabbatical at home in Switzerland in which she and Mutt became parents for the first time, there's a buzz coming from Shania like an electrical charge. "We wanted to put something together that was bigger and better," she glows, "and the whole thing IS so much bigger and better than anything I've done in the past."
"The whole record has been made differently, we travelled around a lot more, we used musical influences from all over the world. We used Indian musicians recorded directly in Mumbai, India; some of the American musicians were recorded in the Caribbean; a 40-piece orchestra recorded in Ireland; other musicians in Italy; and we literally hopped from city to city song-writing, including Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Rome, Provence and The Grenadine Islands. This music came together in smaller pieces over a longer period of time."
Leading the way as the first single from this extraordinary new project is the absolutely irresistible I'm Gonna Getcha Good! "That was an obvious single," she says. "There is a typical Shania attitude in the lyric, a definite female confidence. It's all about a girl who knows what she wants, she not only knows how to get it, but she's going to get it good."
"In my experience it's more typical to run into guys with such confidence when it comes to women, once again I thought it would be fun to write with that same confidence, but from a woman's point of view. I wanted the first single to reflect that playful attitude, because I want people to relate to the Shania they already know, at the same time as hearing a new, fresh sound."
Shania is thrilled with the development of her vocal technique on the album, an evolution that Mutt wholeheartedly encouraged. "It is different. Mutt was able to bring out a presence in my voice that I usually only use when I'm song-writing with my acoustic guitar. I didn't realise that I was singing with a slightly different voice on the microphone. It's like being in front of a camera, unless you forgot it's there, you kind of act a little differently. Mutt stayed on it until he got the natural, more intimate vocal sound he loves in my voice."
Other highlights on the album? Shania could name as many as there are tracks, but here are a few particulars. "Ka-Ching! is one of my top five, probably one of my top three, because it does have the Shania cheekiness to it, but I think it's a pretty fair observation of where we're at, in terms of how commercial society has become, almost globally."
"I also like the lyrics on In My Car (I'll Be The Driver) - 'don't care if you sleep with your socks on, you can hurt my head with your favourite rock song.' In other words, you can be in control of all the other things in our lives, but in my car, I am the driver! UP!, the title track, has some really fun things, 'even my skin is acting weird, wish that I could grow a beard'. One of my other favourites is I'm Jealous, it's one of those songs that's so descriptive, you can see and feel it happening. Juanita is a song I got a bit deeper with lyrically. In our most vulnerable times, whether we're searching for strength, courage or freedom, it's our female power (our Juanita) that we need to connect with."
"It's keeping it real lyrically, that's just my approach, it is very conversational which is very much the way the last two albums were written and those were the songs people related to the best, saying things the way I would have spoken them."
Shania plans to start pre-production for a new tour early in 2003, eager to make the same personal connection with her fans that produced such sensationally successful results on the Come On Over world tour. "I have a lot of fun with the touring, it's the biggest reward," she says. "I can see on their faces what the songs mean to them. I'm affected by music, when I sit and listen I'm high by it, so when I see I'm affecting them the same way, I really feel I've done what I came to do."
Meanwhile, is one of the biggest-selling recording artists in the world feeling the pressure of following a 34 million-seller? In short, no. "I don't have any anxiety about the success of this record. My goal isn't to outsell Come On Over. I just really want to know what people think of it. I'm excited to get the feedback."
That's why, even with her place in the world's musical elite guaranteed and undisputed, the only way is UP! for Shania Twain, because of the creative goals she has already achieved with the album even before it starts flying out of the stores. "Mutt and I as a team put more into this record than ever before," she confesses. "We really have gone totally all out, we've laboured over it and I'm completely thrilled with the results."
"I put this music on and I'm overwhelmed with emotion. It's been such a labour of love, and as I'm listening back sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry."
Five Things You Must Know About Shania Twain
Shania means "on my way" in the language of the Ojibwa Indians.
Twain donated proceeds from singing "God Bless the Child" to Kids Café, an organization that helps feed hungry children.
The video for her single "Dance With the One That Brought You" was directed by actor Sean Penn.
Twain's album "The Woman in Me" became the biggest-selling album in history by a female country singer.
She performed at the halftime show at the 2003 Super Bowl.
Shania Twain Is A Country Survivor
She went from singing for her family's supper to singing for millions of adoring fans
Shania Twain (born Eileen Regina Edwards) was born in Windsor, Ontario, on August 28, 1965. When she was young, her parents divorced and Twain lived with her mom and two sisters. The kids were eventually adopted by their mom's new husband. The family struggled with poverty, and Twain's mother suffered from bouts of deep depression. Twain turned to singing to find happiness amid her harsh reality. In 1974, at the age of nine, she was already performing in honky-tonk clubs to help pay the family's bills. At age 12, Twain appeared on a local country show, and later she fronted a cover band, called Long Shot. In 1983, the teenager began singing full time after graduating from high school. However, her career came to a terrible halt when her parents were killed in a car crash in 1987.
Devastated, the 22-year-old Twain took on the task of raising her sisters and two half-brothers; she supported them with a singing gig at a tourist resort. By 1992, her siblings were all grown up and Twain began to focus on her career. Although she soon scored a recording contract, her big break turned out to be a disappointment — her debut album wasn't a hit.
In 1993, the struggling singer took a call from the legendary Robert "Mutt" Lang, a reclusive rock producer. The two began writing songs, and it wasn't long before they were making beautiful music together as husband and wife. Twain's second album, "The Woman in Me," which fused country with pop, was released in 1995. It was a smash success, spawning seven hit singles and winning Twain numerous awards. The 32-year-old's 1997 follow-up, "Come on Over," catapulted her to superstardom.
But after three years of touring and celebrity life, the performer needed a break. In 2000, she and her husband moved to Switzerland. The couple had a baby boy, Eja (pronounced "Asia"), in 2001. While she savored the tranquility of her life, Twain returned to the studio in 2002 to record the album "Up."
Shania Twain first greatest hits album
Shania's name and face might be on the front cover, but her first greatest-hits album is really all about the success of her ongoing collaboration with husband and producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange.
Notice that although Greatest Hits spans 21 tracks, there's nothing here from Shania's Mutt-less first album - that's because the sound that made her a star only kicked in with his arrival for 1995's The Woman in Me. Shania charged the airwaves with a slick sound that combined catchy hooks, girl-power attitude and the slamming beats and head-on impact her husband learned during years of producing hard-rock acts like AC/DC and Def Leppard.
The formula worked again and again and again: Greatest Hits keeps it coming for well over an hour, each perfectly placed note and sleek, shiny beat still gleaming after all this time. Every Top 10 song Shania has racked up is here - including all eight from 1997's Come On Over - so it's hard to complain about the content. But it's easy to grumble about the awkward way this compilation is laid out - kicking off with last year's "Forever and for Always," it travels with near-total precision backward through time to her first Top 20, "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" Then it jerks back to the present with four new tracks, including two versions of the current hit, "Party for Two" - one featuring rock singer Mark McGrath and one with country's own Billy Currington. Fear not, country fan, Billy's is better - although both have the air of forced fun that crept into Shania's music with 2002's Up!
Better are the other two new songs, "Don't!" and "I Ain't No Quitter," both of which suggest a turn toward a more traditional country sound - and suggest that this marital team hasn't run out of steam quite yet.
Shania Twain prefers to be poor!
Singer Shania Twain has revealed that she is fed up with money and success in life, and feels that being poor would have been better.
The pretty country singer has earned approximately 57 million dollars from concert ticket sales this year alone, but she sees this money as an enormous burden on her.
"Money is a burden. All anybody needs is enough to eat and have a roof over their heads. Any more than that is a stress. My son is going to have money, and he's going to be stressed," ratethemusic.com quoted Shania as saying.
Shania Twain shocked by unauthorized movie!
Country singer Shania Twain is horrified after learning that an unauthorised TV movie is being planned about her life.
The Canadian singer was recently told about the project, and she admits she's not quite sure what writers could put in the film to make it interesting for viewers.
"I have nothing to do with it. I do think it influences the way people see you. I'd like to see if there's anything I don't know about myself," the singer was quoted by ratethemusic, as saying.
"What are they gonna find out? I've lived such a square life. I have had no time to get into drugs and stupid things. I've been focused, or I never would have got here," she added. (ANI)
Shania Twain gets a 'double diamond'!
Singer Shania Twain has joined the exclusive club featuring The Eagles, Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson after 20 million copies of her super hit album 'Come On Over' sold like hot cakes in America.
According to ratethemusic.com, Shania's 1997 album has been certified double diamond in the latest Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sales list. It has also been described as the best-selling country album in history. Only five artists have titles that have shipped more copies to US retailers. They are:
1.The Eagles' Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) 2.Michael Jackson's Thriller 3.The Wall by Pink Floyd 4.Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin IV 5. Billy Joel's Greatest Hits, Vol 1 II.
It's Not Easy Being (In The) Green
She grew up poor and now she has more money than she can spend - but Shania Twain says having money is actually more trouble than it's worth. "Money is a burden," says Shania, who made about $57 million last year in concert ticket sales. "All anybody needs is enough to eat and have a roof over their heads. Any more than that is a stress. My son is going to have money, and he's going to be stressed."