On Christmas morning in 1997, a 10-year-old boy opens up his presents with his family. While his parents and siblings are all drowning in wrapping paper and gifts, he waits patiently for the present that he knows he is getting. The hottest CD of the year. Upon unveiling his present and trying to act surprised, he rushes up the stairs and opens his sister’s CD player, tossing Ultimate Dance Party 1997 to the side. After 30 seconds of waiting, seven notes blast from the speakers, followed by three little words that will begin a love affair that will last an eternity…
It’s hard to believe that boy was me. But, looking back, is it? From that moment on (see what I did there?), I became a lifelong Shania Twain fan. I have never been ashamed of, or denied my love for her in any regard. There is nothing this woman could do that I wouldn’t love – even when she had a song, Shoes, on the Desperate Housewives soundtrack.
As a child, I was always drawn to women. I spent a majority of my time around women, had female teachers throughout school, and just enjoyed the presence of girls. Women have always made me feel like I was strong, amazing and special. Let’s be clear, I love men too – in a very different way – but women have always been a force in my life. For men, Shania Twain represents every woman.
Before Beyoncé, Adele and Lady Gaga, Shania was the supreme goddess in my life. Granted, at the time, I knew of Mariah, Whitney and Madonna, but they have never held a place in my heart quite like this lady. And while Celine Dion is definitely in my top 5 favorite divas of all time, Shania is easily number one. Let me list for you all of the reasons why, while also giving you a solid overview of her entire life.
On August 28, 1965, Eileen Regina Edwards was born. Eileen performed in bars and pubs across Timmins, Ontario, with her manager/mother. She later adopted the stage name Shania, meaning “I’m on my way” in Objiwe, which her step-father is a descendent of. In 1987, her mother and step-father were tragically killed in a car-accident, making Shania the legal guardian of her four younger siblings. While performing at a resort in Canada, she was discovered by a talent scout and brought to Nashville. She released her debut album to lack-luster reviews and little attention, but did make quite an impact by appearing in her music video baring her midriff. *gasps*
After releasing her self-titled album, she caught the attention of Mutt Lange, an established rock producer who was linked to albums by AC/DC, Def Leppard to name a few. They worked together, fell in love, got married and eventually released her second album, The Woman in Me, in 1995, which became the highest-selling album by a female country artist in history. Just two years later, Shania released Come On Over, and broke not only the record she set with The Woman in Me, the album became the highest-selling album by a female artist, in any genre, in history. Oh, and twenty-years later, it still holds that record…
Since Come On Over, Shania released her fourth studio album, Up! which is certified 11X Platinum. With this album, Shania became the only female artist in history to have three consecutive Diamond albums – meaning 10 million+ sold. After that, she took a hiatus for a few years, coming back to the music scene after her 14 year marriage ended. Her husband had cheated on her with her then best friend! But Shania found love shorty after…with her former best friends’ ex-husband. If that isn’t a country song waiting to be written…
She came back with a book, a documentary program on OWN and a residency in Las Vegas. After her residency ended, she went on a national tour and, finally, is set to release her first album in 15 years this September! I’ve been waiting for over half of my life time for this album, Shania! We all have!
For me, Shania has always represented strength. She wrote all of the songs on all of her albums after her debut album, she has directed most of her music videos and she always pushed through to get what she wanted. Growing up, she often didn’t have food or heat in her house, performed in bars at a young age, lost her parents when she was 22, and still became one of the best selling artists of all time! What part of that doesn’t scream ROLE MODEL?!
Some other fascinating Shania Twain facts:
Shania has sold over 85 million records in her career – so far!
Come On Over is the 6th best selling album of all time. However, the album never reached Number 1 on the Billboard 200.
Her second music video “Dance With the One Who Brought You” was directed by Sean Penn
During her Come On Over tour, a radio contest was held for an artist to come up on stage and perform with Shania. One of the winners in Canada was an aspiring singer by the name of Avril Lavigne.
Shania was the first person to be declared Sexiest Vegetarian Alive by PETA in 2001
Shania has overcome so many obstacles in her life, and has always ended up on top. She writes songs about love, loss and everything in between, and makes it so her fans can always relate. Regardless of all of the hardships she’s fought through, she has been a guiding force for so many women to follow, especially in country music.
She made it okay for women to be confident, strong, smart and beautiful. She made me feel like I could be that, too. There was just something about her that made me feel good
After waiting for so long, new music is finally on the horizon! Her new single “Life’s About to Get Good” is due in June and I can’t begin to describe how excited I am! Working with several new producers, this album promises to be her most diverse yet! It’s been 20 years since she released her single “Honey, I’m Home” and on behalf of all her fans: welcome home Ms. Twain!