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Shania Twain (Eilleen Regina Edwards)

Shania Twain is a Canadian singer and songwriter. Twain has sold over 85 million albums worldwide. She is also the best selling female artist in the history of country music, which garnered her honorific titles including the "Queen of Country Pop".

Background

  • Shania Twain was born in Canada on August 28, 1965. A music lover early on, she started writing songs at age 10. Her second album, The Woman in Me (1995), was a big success, then Come on Over (1997) went on to sell 40 million records, making it the bestselling album by a female artist, as well as the top country music record.

  • Education

    • She started singing and performing from an early age. Music was a form of escape from the difficulties of her daily life. Her family was very poor and she earned money by singing at clubs.

      She went to Timminis High and Vocal School, and sang for a local band called Longshot.

      She got an opportunity to perform on the Tommy Hunter Show, aired on CBC television when she was just 13.

    Career

    • She was singing by the age of 3, playing the guitar at 8 and penning her own songs at 10. Sharon embraced her daughter’s talent, making sacrifices the family could ill afford in order to get Twain to lessons and gigs. With her mother’s encouragement, Twain grew up singing in clubs and at community events, with occasional forays into television and radio.

      At 18, Twain decided to try and make a go of her singing career in Toronto. She found work, but didn’t make enough to support herself without taking odd jobs, which included a stint at McDonald’s.

      In 1987, however, Twain’s life was upended when her parents died in a car crash. In order to support her three younger siblings (in addition to Twain’s younger sister, Sharon and Jerry had had a son together and had also adopted Jerry’s nephew), Twain returned to Timmins and took a job singing as part of a Las Vegas–style show at a nearby resort.

      However, Twain hadn’t given up on making her own music, and she kept continued to write songs in her free time. Her demo made it to Nashville, and she was subsequently signed to Polygram Records (which became Mercury Nashville).

      Her new label may have liked Twain’s music, but they didn’t care for the name Eilleen Twain. As Twain wanted to keep her last name to honor her adoptive father, she opted to change her first name instead, to Shania, an Ojibwe word that means “I’m on my way.”

      Encouraged to use songs written by others, Twain lamented her lack of artistic control in Nashville. Still, her first album, titled Shania Twain, was released in 1993. The album was not a big success (though Twain's video for “What Made You Say That,” which featured her wearing a crop top, got plenty of attention), but it did reach one important fan: Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who’d produced albums for groups such as AC/DC, the Cars and Def Leppard. After getting in touch with Twain, Lange set to work with her on her next album.

      Twain and Lange co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks for Twain’s next album, The Woman in Me (1995). Twain loved the album, but given Lange’s rock background and the record’s forays into pop as well as country music, she worried about how people would react.

      She needn’t have been concerned. The first single, “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” reached No. 11 on the country charts. The follow-up single, the rock-infused “Any Man of Mine,” soared to No. 1 on the country charts and was also a Top 40 pop hit. Twain received four Grammy nominations the following year, and won Best Country Album. A critical and commercial success, The Woman in Me would reach eventually reach more than 12 million in U.S. sales.

      Twain’s subsequent album, Come On Over (1997), another co-production with Lange, further fused country and pop. It also had more chart-topping songs, including pumped-up anthems such as “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much," as well as romantic ballads such as “You're Still the One” and “From This Moment On.”

      In 1999, “You’re Still The One” earned Twain two Grammys, one for Best Country Song and another for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The song also reached No. 1 on Billboard’s country charts. The next year, Twain took home another two Grammys when “Come On Over” was named Best Country Song and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” won for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

      Come On Over reigned at No. 1 on the country charts for a combined 50 weeks. The album also became, and remains, the bestselling country album of all time—reaching 40 million in worldwide sales—as well as the top-selling album by a solo female artist. With the success of Come On Over, followed by a popular tour, Twain became an international star.

      In 2002, Twain's Up! was released. There were three versions of the album: a pop red version, a country green disc and a blue version that had an international, Bollywood-influenced flavor. The red and green combination reached No. 1 on Billboard’s country and Top 200 charts (the rest of the world got the red-blue pairing, which was also a success). However, sales dipped compared to Twain’s previous monster hits, with 5.5 million copies sold in the United States.

      By 2004, Shania Twain had recorded enough material for her first compilation of greatest hits. It was released in the fall of that year, the album would top and the charts and eventually go quadruple platinum.

    Major achievements

    • The album, ‘The Woman in Me’ (1995) was her first big hit which established her as a popular country singer. The album went multi-platinum within months of its release and was certified Diamond after five years.

      Her 1997 album ‘Come on Over’ was her greatest hit ever. The album was highly appreciated for breaking free of traditional stereotypes and became the biggest selling country music album ever. It peaked at No.1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Album charts.

    Works

    • Self-titled debut album
    • Greatest Hits
    • Come On Over
    • The Woman in Me

    Politics

    Twain says she’s not a political person, or at least she’s tolerant of other viewpoints and wants to keep hers to herself:

    I’m not the politician, and I just completely remove myself from that. I don’t have anything against or for any particular person or point of view on politics. I have my own opinions, but my songs don’t share them.

    That didn’t stop both Hillary Clinton and Al Gore from using her song, “Rock This Country!” during their campaigns.8 I guess they didn’t care that she’s a Canadian who lives in Switzerland.

    Twain hasn’t come out for or against hot political issues like gay marriage, but she did get a shout-out from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for being one of their “Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities.”

    Religion

    Twain grew up Christian, but practiced a syncretic eastern philosophy called Sant Mat with her first husband. The philosophy emphasizes meditation, yoga, non-violence, and eating a vegetarian diet–among other things.

    She kept her life very private during this time, so we don’t know a whole lot about her spiritual practices. We know she’s a vegetarian4 and that she practices yoga,5 but that’s about it. Regardless of the details, she’s obviously a spiritual person:

    I’m always soul searching on a spiritual level. That’s a permanent occupation of mine, I think, for the rest of my life.

    But Twain’s been pretty pissed ever since her husband left her for her best friend, so there’s at least a decent chance she ditched the philosophy with the man.

    Views

    Quotations: -Yes, you can lose somebody overnight, yes, your whole life can be turned upside down. Life is short. It can come and go like a feather in the wind.

    -I lost my sense of trust, honesty and compassion. I crashed down and became what I consider an emotional mess. I've never been so miserable in my whole life. I just wanted to go to bed and never get up.

    -Being betrayed is one of the most valuable lessons life can teach.

    -I feel like in a way I'm starting over, with everything.

    -There were moments when I really just thought, I don't need anything and I don't need anyone. I just want to go away and disappear.

    -I really feel like life will dictate itself. You should allow it to unfold as naturally as possible. Just go with the flow. When you're really desperate, you say a few prayers and hope for the best. That's the way I've always lived my life.

    -I feel like I'm on top of the world. Honestly, I feel like I've climbed a very giant mountain, and I'm just standing right on top with my arms wide open and breathing rarified air.

    -I find that the very things that I get criticized for, which is usually being different and just doing my own thing and just being original, is the very thing that's making me successful.

    -Horses calm me. I love being around them. They smell great, they are beautiful to look at, they are loving, demanding, temperamental, and they settle you.

    -I really feel like life will dictate itself. You should allow it to unfold as naturally as possible. Just go with the flow. When you're really desperate, you say a few prayers and hope for the best. That's the way I've always lived my life.

    -Fortunately, when you're a mom, the responsibility of caring for your child can keep you going.

    -When you don't come from struggle, gaining appreciation is a quality that's difficult to come by.

    -It's important to give it all you have while you have the chance.

    -I feel sexy when I get out of the tub - your skin is fresh and you've put up your hair without looking.

    -Now that I have and I'm not a have-not, I've learned how important it is to maintain humility.

    -Life unravels the way it does, and it has an effect on you, but you have to take responsibility for dealing with it.

    -I'm neither embarrassed of who I am, where I come from, what I've experienced, I'm not ashamed of it.

    -My music must reflect whatever's going on in my mind, and my life needs to evolve for me to discover who it is I'm becoming.

    -I don't want my body to be a distraction from my talent or my brain.

    -Later in my life, I'm going to look back and smile and be very fulfilled. I know that if I don't give it my all right now I'll regret it later. That's very important to me, because I've worked all my life to have this.

    -I temporarily lost my hope in love, and it was temporary, thank goodness.

    -I really admire artists that are willing to take a different approach and a different angle to their shows.

    -I've succeeded as far as I'm concerned - I don't feel that I have any cliffs I could fall over anytime soon.

    Personality

    Shania Twain appears strong and powerful. She has an impressive personality and can influence and even intimidate through sheer force. She has natural authority. Shania's competence and enthusiasm attract people with resources.

    Twain radiates confidence. People defer to her because they sense her sureness and effectiveness. Shania Twain also exudes a kind of controlled benevolence. People sense that she is generous, once she is convinced of the worthiness of the cause.

    It is important for Shania to dress well. Twain radiates a kind of raw power and able-ness, which needs to be refined and enhanced by her clothing. Shania Twain may even dress a bit flashy, but that will not harm her. Quality is among Shania's highest priorities, and should reflect in her clothing.

    Although most eights have a strong constitution, they can be prone to indigestion, ulcers, and heart disease due to their reckless eating and drinking habits and their propensity to be workaholics.

    Her Achilles heel is Shania's capacity for an egocentric attitude. The negative side of her personality can cause Twain to be ruthless, greedy, and intensely lonely.

    Conversely, Shania Twain can be spontaneous and excited. She is essentially warm and jovial. In her heart of hearts, Shania wants everyone to be as excited and as happy as her. Those who are around Twain often sense this, and her coworkers and employees usually like her.

    Twain's Personality number often serves as a censoring device, both in terms of what Shania sends out, as well as what she allows to approach.

    It discriminates in the kinds of people and information Shania Twain lets enter her heart and mind.

    Interests

    Artists: Jim Carrey

    Jessica Lange

    Sport & Clubs: Hockey to watch, Horse ball (a Spanish game) to play

    Camping, Horseback riding, Song writing

    Guitar

    Music & Bands: Wildflower (Skylarc), Dream A Little Dream Of Me (Mamma's & Pappa's), Coat Of Many Colors, In The Getto (Dolly Parton), She's Always A Woman To Me (Billy Joel), I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)

    Connections

    • Twain married Robert Lange, a music producer she often worked with, in 1993. They have a son. She divorced her husband in 2010 after finding out that he had an affair with her best friend.

      On January 1, 2011, she married Frederic Thiebaud, an executive at Nestle.
    • father: Clarence Edwards
    • mother: Sharon Morrison
      Birth: 1945

      Death: Nov. 1, 1987

      Cause of death: Car accident
    • Ex-husband: Robert John "Mutt" Lange
      Robert John "Mutt" Lange ( born 11 November 1948) is a Zambian-born British record producer and songwriter. He has produced albums for artists such as AC/DC, City Boy, Def Leppard, The Boomtown Rats, Graham Parker and the Rumour, Outlaws, Foreigner, The Cars, Bryan Adams, Billy Ocean, Savoy Brown, The Corrs, Maroon 5, Nickelback and Muse. He also wrote and produced songs with his then-wife, Canadian country singer Shania Twain.

      Shania and Mutt divorced after 14 years of marriage in 2008, leaving Shania devastated and left to put the pieces back together. But after several years and one awkward run-in with her former assistant, the "From This Moment On" singer has found happiness, ironically with Marie-Anne's former husband, Frédéric Thiebaud.

      Shania's answer notably comes years after she actually ran into Marie-Anne and ended freezing up at the sight of her.

      "I had a total panic attack," Twain had said at the time. "I just told her that she was a bad person—that's all I could get out!"

      But in hindsight she realized that while she wishes she had never known her, she also admitted to Andy that she wouldn't say she would necessarily be "better off" having not known "the other woman."

      Lange produced Twain’s multi-platinum albums, and they co-wrote all of her charting singles for Mercury Nashville between 1995 and 2005, with the exception of “You Win My Love,” in which Lange is listed as the sole writer. The couple has one son, Eja, born Aug. 12, 2001. They have maintained homes in Switzerland and New Zealand. “This is a private matter and there will be no further comment at this time,” said Jason Owen, Twain’s spokesman.

      The couple met at Fan Fair in 1993, shortly after Lange had called Twain’s label for her phone number, after hearing her debut album. They collaborated on the songs for her 1995 album, The Woman in Me. With the breakout songs “Any Man of Mine” and “(If You’re Not in It for Love) I’m Outta Here!” the project has since been certified 12-times platinum. The 1997 follow-up album, Come On Over, included the Grammy-winning songs, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” “Come On Over” and “You’re Still the One.” It has since been certified 20-times platinum, making it one of the best-selling albums in music history.

      In 2002, Twain released Up!, which was certified 11-times platinum and released in three versions (pop, country and international). Greatest Hits (2004) surpassed quadruple-platinum status in April 2008. She has reportedly been working on a new album, but no release date has been set.

      Lange had a firmly established career in rock music prior to meeting Twain. His producing credits include best-selling albums from AC/DC, Def Leppard, Foreigner and Bryan Adams. Following his success with Twain, he also produced successful albums by Celine Dion, The Backstreet Boys and The Corrs.
    • Husband: Frederic Thiebaud
    Shania Twain
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    Born August 28, 1965
    (age 52)
    • 1983
      Timmins High and Vocational School

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    Olga Rakhunok

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