Born: 1965, Windsor, ON
Genre: Country, Country Pop
• 3 double-diamond albums
• 11th best-selling album of all-time worldwide (Come on Over)
• Best-selling album worldwide by a Canadian artist (Come on Over)
• Has sold 65 million records worldwide
• Inducted into the Music Hall of Fame (2011)
• Star on the Walk of Fame (2003)
• Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2011)
• 19 Top Ten Singles on the country charts, including 13 number ones
• 13 Top Thirty Singles on the pop charts, including 6 Top Tens
• 3rd biggest song of 1998 in the United States (“You’re Still the One”)
• Five American Grammy Awards
• Won all 12 Juno Awards for which she was nominated
• Juno for Artist of the Year, 2003
Primary Albums and Singles
1993: Shania Twain
• 2x Platinum
1995: The Woman in Me
• 2x Diamond
• Singles: “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under” (#1 CC), “Any Man of Mine” (#1 CC), “The Woman in Me” (#1 CC), “I’m Outta Here” (#1 CC), “You Win My Love” (#1 CC), “No One Needs to Know” (#1 CC), “Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is” (#10 CC), “God Bless the Child” (#7 CC)
1997: Come on Over
• 2x Diamond
• 40 million copies sold worldwide
• 11th best-selling album of all-time worldwide
• Best-Selling album of all-time worldwide by a Canadian artist
• Singles: “Love Gets Me Every Time”, (#1 CC), “Don’t Be Stupid” (#1 CC), “You’re Still the One” (#1 CC; #7 PC), “From This Moment On” (#1 CC; #13 PC), “When” (#14 PC), “Honey, I’m Home” (#1 CC), “That Don’t Impress Me Much” (#2 CC; #5 PC), “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” (#2 CC; #18 PC), “You’ve Got a Way” (#1 CC; #17 PC), “Come on Over” (#1 CC), “Rock This Country” (#3 CC), “I’m Holdin’ On to Love” (#4 CC)
2004: Greatest Hits
• 6x Platinum
• Singles: “Party for Two” (#2 PC), “Don’t” (#24 PC), “I Ain’t No Quitter” (#22 PC)
Legend: CC = Country Charts, PC = Pop Charts, UK = United Kingdom Pop Charts
“I saw this little girl up on stage with a guitar and it absolutely blew me away. … She sang a few songs that she had written, and I thought to myself, this kid is like nineteen years old, where does she get this? This is from a person who’s lived sixty years.”
Sharon Morrison and Clarence Edwards of Windsor, Ontario had a third daughter in 1965 whom they named Eileen. Two years later they divorced and Sharon took her three daughters to Timmins, Ontario where she was soon remarried to Jerry Twain. The family was extremely poor and Eileen’s parents often got into violent fights. Eileen began singing songs by The Carpenters, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt in bars at the age of eight to earn extra money for the family. She was invited to perform on the “Tommy Hunter Show” on CBC television when she was 13. She became lead singer of the local band Longshot which covered pop songs.
Eileen joined her father’s tree planting business in the harsh environment of northern Ontario. During her leisure time, she would play the guitar in the forest and write songs. In 1983, Eileen graduated from high school. By this time, Longshot had disbanded and she joined the band Flirt which toured the province. She also started singing lessons from Ian Garrett and cleaned his home as payment. She was eventually noticed by Toronto DJ Stan Campbell which led to her singing backing vocals for Tim Denis’ song “Heavy on the Sunshine”.
Regional country star Mary Bailey had heard Eileen perform in Sudbury and was so impressed that she invited Twain down to Nashville, USA introducing her to record producer Tony Migliore who was working on Kelita Haverland’s album. Twain was asked to provide backing vocals on the song “Too Hot to Handle”. This was in the fall of 1985. Twain and Bailey moved in together as flatmates.
After a number of false starts, Twains’ musical trajectory was interrupted in November, 1987, when her mother and stepfather were killed in a car accident. She had to return to Timmins to care for her younger siblings, taking them all to Huntsville, Ontario where she supported them by earning money by performing at a nearby resort.
After a few years, Twain’s younger siblings were old enough to make it on their own. She put together a demo tape of her songs and her Huntsville manager presented them to record executives in 1991. Mercury Records of Nashville offered her a contract. It was during this time that she settled on the stage name Shania.
Her self-titled debut album came out in 1993. Although it did not spawn any significant hit singles, it drew positive reviews from critics and caught the attention of British genius producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who had scored huge hits with Bryan Adams, AC/DC, Foreigner, and Def Leppard. He volunteered to co-write and produce Twain’s next album. They met in Nashville in June. Six months later, they married.
The songs they wrote contained catchy musical hooks and cheeky, pun-filled lyrics, and the production showcased a slick, sexy contemporary sound, unlike anything gone before in country music. The resulting album, The Woman in Me, was released in 1995 and its first single, “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” shot up the country charts to number one. It was not to be the only chart-topping single from the album. Five more songs went straight to number one. And the album, itself, became the second in Canadian history to be certified double-diamond at home (after Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill).
Come on Over appeared in 1997 and did even better. With it, Twain became the only Canadian artist, up to the present day, to score a second double-diamond album at home. The album spawned an unprecedented seven number one singles on the country charts, generated six Top 20 singles on the pop charts, produced the third biggest song of the year 1998 on the Billboard Hot 100, sold 40 million copies worldwide, and became the 11th best-selling album of all-time (1st by a Canadian artist).
In Y2K, Twain and Lange moved into a mansion on the shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland and had a son the following year.
2002′s Up! included two discs with the same track listings. The green disc was a country mix of the songs while the red disc was a pop mix. Apparently there was a third blue disc available, in the style of Indian music with parts recorded in Mumbai. Up! became Twain’s third double-diamond album in Canada. The album became very successful in Europe with singles released there that were not in North America. Twain also made many appearances on Britain’s Top of the Pops. The following year, Shania was named Female Artist of the Year at the Junos and was given a star on the Walk of Fame in Toronto.
A greatest hits album came out in 2004 which included a few new songs. It sold over 600,000 copies in Canada.
Twain mostly disappeared from the limelight until announcing her divorcing Lange in 2008. Afterwards, she married Swiss businessman Frederic Thiebaud and came out with an autobiography, From This Moment On. She was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame and received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 2011. She revealed, in an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, that she was suffering from dysphonia which had affected her singing, preventing her from releasing further material. But in June of that year, Twain’s first single in six years was released: “Today Is Your Day”, co-produced by David Foster and Nathan Chapman. She also announced that she will be headlining Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas for two years beginning December 1st, 2012.
Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog