During the 1990s and early 2000s, Shania Twain was one of the biggest voices on the music scene. A crossover artist that combined country, pop and rock music, Twain delivered hit after hit. Songs like You’re Still the One and Man! I Feel Like a Woman! could be heard everywhere.
With 100 million record sales, the five-time Grammy winner is one of the best-selling artists of all time.
Updated on November 14, 2020: After years of not singing, Shania Twain is back with a vengeance. She completed her Las Vegas residency earlier this year and is preparing for her next big venture. Her new album Queen of Me is set to release the first week of February, and it will be followed by a world tour throughout 2023.
Shania Twain Faced Many Struggles Before Stardom
Christened Eilleen Regina Edwards, the Canadian singer was just eight years old when she began performing in bars to support her struggling family. Her childhood wasn’t a happy one.
Ultimately, the singer was on the brink of a breakthrough when her parents were killed in a car crash. Shania, 22 at the time, headed home and spent the next six years caring for her four siblings.
At last, at the age of 27, her break came. She was signed to a record label. Her stepfather was born an Ojibwa Native American, and Eilleen changed her name to Shania, the Ojibwa word for “on my way.”
Although her first album wasn’t a commercial success, it attracted the notice of famed music producer Mutt Lange. Lange and Twain married within six months of their meeting. Their working partnership proved to be formidable.
How Did Shania Twain Become A Superstar?
The Woman in Me, released in 1995, went platinum twelve times and won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album. Shania became an international sensation, earning the title “Queen of Country Pop.”
Fans loved her, calling Shania one of the sweethearts of the country scene. Two years later, she released her record-breaking album Come on Over. It remains the bestselling studio album of all time by a female artist.
After taking a break for the birth of their son, Eja, Shania returned in 2004 with her fourth album, Up! It was another smash hit, which saw the singer become the only female artist to have three straight diamond albums in the US.
Things Took A Turn For Shania Twain
During the Up! tour, the singer was bitten by a tick while horseback riding in Virginia. Initially, tests for Lyme disease were negative, but Shania began to struggle on stage.
Suffering bouts of dizziness and blackouts, she also struggled to control her voice. Initially, she thought it was the result of fatigue, brought about by the tour and being a new mom, but the condition persisted, and she had to stop performing.
Then came the second blow. In the midst of coping with the panic about her voice, Shania learned that Lange was having an affair with her best friend and personal assistant, Marie-Anne Thiébaud. The women had been pregnant at the same time and shared a close bond. Shania was devastated.
It took six years before it was discovered that the icon had, in fact, been infected by the tick bite. Untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious problems.
In Shania’s case, it affected her voice, making it impossible for her to sing. The short recovery break she had planned turned into 15 long years.
She continued to write songs, acutely aware that she might never sing them herself. But eventually, after vocal cord surgeries and special therapy, her voice slowly began to return.
2011 Was Shania’s Comeback Year
The year started off well, with the singer remarrying on New Year’s Day, 2011. Amazingly, Shania had found comfort in the arms of Marie-Anne’s jilted husband, Frédéric Thiébaud.
In May, the superstar released her autobiography. Titled From This Moment On, she described the book as: “Part confessional, part warning, part self-help manual for people going through similar crises.”
She later said writing it helped her realize the divorce was not the most devastating event in her life.
In the same year, she was approached by Lionel Richie, who asked her to join him for a re-record of his hit duet Endless Love. Although she initially refused, Richie managed to convince her otherwise, and his nurturing helped to rebuild her confidence. The song was included on his album Tuskegee, released in 2012.
It was a turning point. Twain’s comeback single Today is Your Day, the first song she made without Lange in 18 years, was released at the same time as a documentary series about the singer, Why Not? with Shania Twain.
Shania Twain Started Performing Live Again
The next year, although she required physical therapy and longer vocal warmups to prepare, she also restarted live performances. To her fan’s delight, Twain began a two-year residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
The 105 shows were a massive success, with ticket sales in the region of $43 million.
In 2015, Shania embarked on her Rock This Country Tour, her first in 11 years. It was a nationwide success.
In 2017, she released her first album in 15 years. Now debuted at number One on the Billboard 200 chart, and was followed by a world tour.
After that, she returned to the Las Vegas Strip to present Let’s Go, her second residency. Delayed by the global pandemic, it was completed in September 2022.
In July, Netflix released a documentary focusing on Shania, called Not Just a Girl.
Despite everything she’s been through, Shania is happy. She looks fabulous, and fans are amazed by her ageless looks. She says the unplanned 15-year break granted her the time to watch her son grow up.
She loves parenting Eja and her stepdaughter, Johanna. Remembering her upbringing, and how she and her brothers often went hungry, her non-profit organization Shania Kids Can supports children who suffer from hunger and poverty.
Amazingly, she lives in the same Swiss town as Mutt Lange and her former best friend. And while Shania sometimes speaks to her ex-husband, she has never run into the woman who broke her heart.
Next: 20 Milestones Of Shania Twain’s Career From 1993-2020, In Photos