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Shania Twain

www.cmt.com biography


Emerging in the mid-'90s, Shania Twain became the most popular country music artist since Garth Brooks. Skillfully fusing mainstream, AOR rock production with country-pop, Twain and her producer/husband, Robert John "Mutt" Lange, created a commercial juggernaut with her second album, The Woman in Me. The record became a multi-platinum phenomenon, peaking at number five on the pop charts and eventually selling over 10 million copies in America alone. Twain, in many ways, was the first country artist to fully exploit MTV's style. She created a sexy, video-oriented image -- she didn't even tour during the year when The Woman in Me was on the top of the country charts -- that appealed not only to the country audience, but also to pop fans. In turn, she became a country music phenomenon.

Twain was born in Windsor, Ontario, and raised in the small, rural town of Timmins, Ontario. As a child, she learned to play guitar at an early age and would spend much of her time singing, writing, and playing. Early on in her musical development, her parents pushed her on-stage, making her perform frequently around their little town; often, she would be pulled out of bed around one in the morning to sing at local bars, since as a child she could only appear in the clubs after they had stopped serving alcohol. In addition to bars, she sang on local radio and television stations and community events. When she was 21 years old, both of her parents died in a car crash, forcing her to take responsibility for her four siblings. In order to pay the bills and keep thumb|300px|right|Shania Twain - Today Is Your Dayfood on the table, she took a job singing at a resort in Deerhurst. With the money she earned at the resort, she bought a house and had the family settle down.

At the resort, she sang show tunes, from George Gershwin to Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as a little country. Twain stayed there for three years, at the end of which all of her siblings had begun lives of their own. When she was finally independent again, she assembled a demo tape of her songs, and her manager set up a showcase concert in Canada. Twain caught the attention of a few insiders with the concert, and within a few months Mercury Nashville had signed her to their roster. Her eponymous debut album was released in 1993, and although it wasn't a major hit, it performed respectably in the United States, launching two minor hit singles, "What Made You Say That" and "Dance with the One That Brought You"; in Europe, the album was more successful and Country Music Television Europe named her Rising Video Star of the Year.thumb|300px|right|Shania Twain - You're Still The One

Shortly after the release of Shania Twain, the singer met and fell in love with Robert John "Mutt" Lange, a hard rock producer known for his work with AC/DC, Def Leppard, Foreigner, and the Cars. Lange had been wanting to move into country music for a while, and after hearing Twain's debut album, he decided to get in contact with her with the intention of working on an album. By the end of the year, the pair had married and begun working on her second record. The two either wrote or co-wrote the material that eventually formed The Woman in Me.

The Woman in Me was released in the spring of 1995. Its first single, "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?," went to number 11 early in the year, quickly followed by "Any Man of Mine," which became her first number one single in the spring. The album's title track went to number 14 in the fall, while the fourth single, "(If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here!," rocketed to number one toward the end of the year; early in 1996 "No One Needs to Know" became her third number one hit. By the beginning of 1996, The Woman in Me had sold over six million copies and broken the record for the most weeks spent at number one on the country charts. During the course of 1996, it would rack another three million in sales. Come on Over followed in 1997. thumb|300px|right|Shania Twain - Man! I Feel Like A WomanShe spent the next two years touring the globe in support of the album; by the end of 1999, Come on Over had sold 36 million copies.

Twain took a sabbatical and returned to her Swiss home for some down time with her husband. The next summer, she and Lange welcomed their first child. A son, whom they named Eja, arrived August 21, 2001. During this time, Twain brainstormed for a fourth album. While balancing a domestic life and a career, the end result was Up!, which appeared in November 2002.

Up! was released to considerable fanfare - not only was it accompanied by a huge publicity blitz but it appeared in three different mixes, designed to appeal to country, pop and international audiences - and it initially was a big success, selling over 870,000 copies in the US upon its first week and debuting at number one in the Billboard charts, but despite such hits as I'm Gonna Getcha Good! and Forever and For Always, it failed to have the same thumb|300px|right|Shania Twain - That Don't Impress Me Muchkind of staying power as The Woman In Me or Come On Over. Those two albums sold over 10 million copies a piece in the US, whereas Up! sold 5.5 million -- an impressive number that only pales when compared to her track record. As Up! worked its way down the charts, Shania released a Greatest Hits album in the holiday season of 2004; the compilation was a great success, going triple platinum in the US, where it peaked at number two on the Billboard charts.

Twain and Lange announced their separation in 2008. She married Frederic Thiebaud on Jan. 1, 2011.Twain was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards on March 27, 2011. She released her memoir, From This Moment On, later that year. In addition, she starred in a docu-series for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network titled Why Not? With Shania Twain. To coincide with the final episode, she released the single, "Today Is Your Day," in June 2011.

Shania notoriously slipped down at the 2011 CMT Music Awards before presenting the Male Video of the Year buckle. Ironically, the moment Twain stepped onto the stage, tickets for her upcoming tour went on sale. She later auctioned off those shoes for charity.

On June 2, 2011, Twain received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Category of Recording.

~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi


www.shaniatwain.com biography


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.

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." 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.

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.

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 Hit's" 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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