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Shania Twain Biography

Shania Twain (née Eileen Regina Edwards) was born August 28, 1965, in Windsor, Ontario. She was raised by her mother, Sharon, and her stepfather, Jerry Twain. The second eldest of five siblings, Shania and her family lived in a rather unstable financial home. Despite the family's financial troubles, their home was always full of music.

Shania Twain 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 twain goes to toronto
Shania Twain'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 after-hours clubs to perform. By the time she was 8, she sang in every public venue -- everywhere from church and community events to performing with local bands at bars.

With the encouragement of her mother, Shania Twain always made performing a part of her life. While Shania Twain 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 Twain went to Toronto to attempt to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a professional singer/songwriter.

shania twain and mercury records
Tragedy struck the family when Shania Twain'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 Twain worked at a resort, singing and dancing.

While singing show tunes at the resort for three years, Shania Twain 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 Twain, 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 twain sells millions of albums

"Shania," which means "I'm on my way" in the Native American language, was indeed well on her way. Her first album, Shania Twain, was not successful, but after marrying her producer Robert "Mutt" Lange in December 1993, her second album, The Woman in Me (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 Twain went on to shatter more records with the release of her third album, Come on Over, selling 34 million albums worldwide. Come on Over became 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 Twain 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, however, is controversy. Die-hard country fans did not appreciate Shania's assertive lyrics, which portrayed a strong, independent woman, 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.

shania twain releases up!
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 put the release of her fourth album, Up!, on hold until November 2002. But she kept busy that year 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 also hosted 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 spawned the hits "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!," "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing," "Forever and For Always," and the title track, "Up!"

shania twain's greatest hits
In 2004, Shania Twain did what every successful artist ventures to do and released a greatest hits compilation. Greatest Hits features three new singles, including the hit duet "Party For Two," of which she recorded the country version with Billy Currington and the pop version with Mark McGrath. The album sold over 3.5 million copies in the U.S. and over 7.5 million copies worldwide.

shania twain and stetson
Like any other profitable celebrity, Shania Twain decided to venture into a different market. She joined the manufacturer COTY to develop the fragrance Shania by Stetson. 2005 also marked the year she appeared on an episode of Donald Trump's The Apprentice, was invested as an Officer in the Order of Canada and had a TV biopic made about her life called Shania: A Life in Eight Albums, starring Meredith Henderson.

In 2006, Shania Twain was ranked No. 30 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World. She was also on the March cover of Self magazine.

shania twain gets divorced
In May 2007, Shania Twain publicly announced she was in the process of working on another album.

Meanwhile, the following year, Shania Twain found herself garnering attention that she didn't necessarily want. In May of '08, a spokesperson filed a statement saying that she and her husband would be divorcing. They had been together for 14 years. Speculation surrounded their separation, as many reports emerged blaming the breakup on an affair her husband was having with Shania Twain's friend and personal assistant. Robert "Mutt" Lange issued a public statement denying the claims.


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