A tragically poor childhood prompted her name change and a passion for country music made her a star. Album sales of 34 million and Grammys galore prove she's still the one.
Shania Twain was born Eileen Edwards, on 28 August 1965, in Ontario, Canada. She was raised in the small mining town of Timmins, Ontario, by her mother, Sharon, and stepfather, an Ojibway Indian named Gerald Twain. (She later changed her name from Eileen to "Shania"; an Ojibway word meaning "I'm on my way").
Twain was already singing and writing songs by age 10; as a teenager, she performed on Canadian television. In 1987, her mother and stepfather were tragically killed in a car accident, leaving Twain to care for her three younger siblings.
After several years spent earning money by singing at a local resort, Twain went to Nashville in 1993. She immediately signed with Mercury Records and released her self-titled debut album. That same year, Twain married South African music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, who was known for his work with the heavy metal bands AC/DC, Def Leppard and Foreigner.
With the help of Lange, Twain released ‘The Woman in Me’ in 1995, which sold 12 million copies, becoming the bestselling country album by a female artist in history. The album, which yielded the hit songs ‘Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?’, ‘Any Man of Mine,’ and ‘(If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here!’ earned Twain a Grammy Award for Best Country Album.
In 1997, Twain released her third album, ‘Come On Over’, which contained eight hit singles, including ‘You're Still the One,’ ‘Love Gets Me Everytime,’ ‘That Don't Impress Me Much,’ ‘Honey, I'm Home,’ ‘From this Moment On,’ and ‘You've Got a Way.’ Certified by the Recording Institute Association of America (RIAA) for sales of 17 million copies, Come On Over holds the notable distinction of being the bestselling country album of all time.
Shania Twain's combination of a powerful voice and sexy image has made her one of the most popular singers in both country and pop music. Her popularity opened the door for such female country crossover acts as Faith Hill and LeAnn Rimes. In the late 1990s, Twain signed a reported $3 million contract with Revlon cosmetics to endorse their products.
In 1999, she released a fourth album, ‘On the Way’. Twain also re-recorded the single ‘You've Got a Way’ for the motion picture soundtrack ‘Notting Hill’ (1999). In 2002, Twain released the album ‘Up!’ She released a Greatest Hits album in 2004, which included a duet with Billy Currington, ‘Party For Two.’ In 2005, she released ‘Send It With Love’ and ‘Beginnings’.
Twain and Lange moved to their 19th-century estate in Tour-de-Peliz, Switzerland. In August 2001, they welcomed their first child, a son named Eja (pronounced "Asia"). The couple however, parted ways after 14 years of marriage on 15 May 2008 after Lange had an affair with Twain's friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud.
Following the split, Twain said in an interview with The Toronto Sun: "I really lost my sense of trust, compassion, honesty. I have lost my ability to express myself and my ability to sing".
It was announced by her manager on 20 December 2010 that Twain was engaged to Marie-Ann's ex-husband, Swiss business executive Frederic Thiebaud, and the couple married on 1 January 2011 in Puerto Rico.
Twain was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame on 27 March 2010, during Canada's music awards, the Junos. She is currently the recipient of 12 Juno awards.
The singer-songwriter's next project was a TV show entitled ‘Why Not? With Shania Twain’, which aired in 2011, on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The show covered personal topics for Twain, such as how she has coped with her divorce, how she has found her creative voice and what her plans are for the future.
She is alsoreleased her autobiography in 2011. Judith Curr, executive vice president and the publisher of Atria Books and Washington Square Press who published the book, said: "When I read Shania's manuscript, it amazed me how rich, clear, unfiltered and honest she was."
Her latest single was a cover of 'Endless Love' with Lionel Richie, released in 2012.