Shania Twain (born August 28, 1965) is a Canadian singer and songwriter who has been very successful in the country and pop music genres. She is the only female artist to have three of her albums to be certified diamond by the RIAA.
Born Eilleen Regina Edwards in Windsor, Ontario to Sharon and Clarence Edwards, she grew up as Eilleen Twain in Timmins, Ontario, after her parents separated when she was two and her mother married Jerry Twain.
At the age of 13, Eilleen Twain was invited to perform on CBC television's Tommy Hunter Show. During high school in Timmins, she was the vocalist for a local band "Longshot" which covered Top 40 music. When her mother and adoptive father died in a car crash on November 1 1987, Eileen took her two younger brothers, Mark and Darryl and sister Carrie-Ann to Huntsville, Ontario, where she supported the family by performing at a local resort (Deerhurst resort). In 1991, after an entertainment lawyer from Nashville heard her act, she was invited to record a demo tape.
In 1991, when she signed her first recording contract with Richard Frank, Mercury Nashville Records, she changed her name to Shania which is an Ojibwa word meaning "I'm on my way"; her adoptive father was a full-blooded Ojibwa. The city of Timmins later renamed a street for her and built the Shania Twain Museum (Shania Twain Centre).
Initially known as a country music artist, after her musical collaboration with (and subsequent marriage to) rock producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, her music veered towards pop, with huge commercial success following. Her album The Woman in Me caught fire due to singles like "Any Man of Mine" and "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" It eventually topped the country charts for months and became a massive crossover on the mainstream charts, peaking at No. 5 and topping out at 12 million sold.
In 1997, Shania Twain released her follow-up album, Come on Over. Selling 172,000 out of the gate and peaking at No. 2, the album was seen by many at first as a disappointment, given the massive success of her last effort. But slowly, the album started racking up sales. It never hit the top spot, but with the single "You're Still the One", sales skyrocketed. Songs like "Don't Be Stupid," "Man! I Feel like a Woman," "That Don't Impress Me Much," and "From This Moment On" joined the 11 songs that eventually saw release as singles. Over the next two years, the album stayed on the charts, spinning off hit after hit. She toured the globe in support of the album. When the dust finally settled, Come on Over had sold 20 million copies in America and 39 million worldwide, making it the biggest-selling album by a female artist of all time, the biggest-selling country album of all time and the #6 selling album of all time.
Many newer fans were totally unaware of her country music roots, particularly as singles released outside the United States and Canada featured remixed versions de-emphasising country-style instrumentation. She was voted the sexiest vegetarian alive by a PETA award in 2000.
After having a child in 2001, Shania Twain went back into the studio. Up! was released in November of 2002, making it five years since the world had new material from her. Naturally, she toured again to support it. A double-album, it featured 19 songs in pop mixes and the same 19 songs in country mixes. Internationally the country mixes were replaced by world mixes. Up! debuted at No. 1 to good reviews, selling 874,000 in the first week alone. It charted at the top for five weeks. The first single off of the album "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!," became a big pop and country hit, the follow-up single "Up!" became a country hit, however the third single off of the album would be the most successful. "Forever and For Always" was released as a single in April 2003 and peaked at #4 on the couuntry chart and #1 on the AC chart. It spent 6 weeks at #1 on the Billboard AC chart, and 10 weeks at #1 on the R&R AC chart. To date, Up,! has sold 11 million copies in the US, 18 million copies total.
In 2004, she decided to release a greatest hits album. To date, it has sold over 3 million copies in the US.
Shania Twain has always seen herself as a songwriter; part of her initial dissatisfaction with the Nashville music scene was her record company's expectation that she would use outside songwriters. Shania writes all of her own material. All of the songs on "The Woman In Me," "Come On Over," "Up!" and the new songs on her "Greatest Hits" CD were written by Shania along with her husband "Mutt" Lange. Shania writes most of the words, while "Mutt" writes the music.
Twain, who lives in Switzerland with Lange and their son Eja, is currently working on her next studio album which is scheduled for release in 2006. On August 28, 2005, she will celebrate her 40th birthday.
In August of 2005, it was announced that Shania had recorded a new song. The new track is a song called "Shoes," and will be featured on the Desperate Housewives soundtrack, in stores September 13. The song will be the first single from the soundtrack and Shania will be flying to New York to shoot a video for the single with the Desperate Housewives cast. The single and video are expected to be released by the second season premiere of 'Housewives' on October 2.