Shania Twain, born Eilleen Regina Edwards on August 28, 1965, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress who has left an indelible mark on the world of country and pop music.
Her rags-to-riches story and distinctive blend of country and rock influences have made her one of the best-selling female artists in the history of country music. Twain’s journey from a challenging upbringing to global stardom is nothing short of inspirational.
Twain’s breakthrough came with her 1995 album “The Woman in Me,” which featured hit singles like “Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”
The album catapulted her to superstardom, earning her Grammy Awards and making her a household name. However, it was her 1997 album, “Come On Over,” that truly solidified her status as an international sensation.
Songs like “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “You’re Still the One” became anthems of the late 1990s and early 2000s, transcending genres and capturing the hearts of music lovers worldwide.
Beyond her musical prowess, Shania Twain’s resilience has been a source of inspiration. She overcame personal struggles, including a difficult childhood and a challenging battle with Lyme disease that threatened her singing career.
Twain’s return to the stage with her Las Vegas residency and the release of the 2017 album “Now” demonstrated her unwavering determination and ability to triumph over adversity.
Shania Twain’s impact on the music industry extends far beyond her chart-topping hits; she remains an enduring symbol of strength, versatility, and resilience in the face of life’s challenges.
In an interview with Billboard at the time of the planning and launch of her 2023 tour, Shania Twain shared a hugely uplifting setlist that she had believed she would never sing again five years earlier.
She had worked hard to come back to singing, and now she had a demanding schedule of daily practices while also managing everything from lighting to costumes.
She confessed, “My days are very long,” but if anyone was up for the task, it was Twain. The kind of sorrow and misery that would shatter many individuals have already been endured by her.
And it all began when she was quite young. Twain’s life has been everything but simple, from growing up in poverty to fighting against the patriarchal views of a male-dominated industry.
Her triumphant album’s release and return to the stage after a period that would be a death knell for most artists are testaments to an iron and unshakable will. This kind can only be attained after a lifetime of suffering.
Struggles began for Shania Twain the moment she was born. In her autobiography, “From This Moment On,” she described how the doctor had given her mother a cigarette. She delivered the dreadful news that her daughter had died following a protracted and traumatic breech birth. Against all chances, the baby did eventually breathe for the first time.
Named Eilleen Regina Edwards at birth, Twain was her mother’s second child and the first with husband Clarence Edwards. Twain’s older sister, Jill, had been born not long after their mother’s fiancé died in a car accident, and her marriage to Edwards would be no happier.
Twain’s parents split when she was a little child, and even though her mother had assured her that her father had requested that he cut all links with the family, Twain couldn’t help but wonder. “Growing up, I knew he existed,” she wrote. “I wondered if he cared about me and what he thought of me.”
When Twain’s mother married the man she would eventually call her father, she was just about to enter kindergarten. She characterized Jerry Twain, an Ojibway Native, as having “a bright, charming personality with a playful character and plenty of jokes and pranks up his sleeve.” She remembered that even as a young girl, she realized that her parents had a violent relationship, despite her praise for her stepfather’s virtues.
Shania Twain has been extraordinarily open about how her family’s poverty-stricken upbringing affected them. When she sat down to talk with Hoda Kotb on “Making Space with Hoda Kotb,” she recounted anecdotes of how difficult it was to grow up in Canada without having access to things like warm clothing and waterproof boots, as well as what it was like to have to make up an excuse for skipping lunch.
In her memoir, “From This Moment On,” Twain said that despite her stepfather’s steady employment in a series of fluctuating minimum-wage jobs, the family’s constant financial difficulties eventually led to physical aggression.
In one instance, she described how her stepfather “slammed her [mother’s] head against the side of the basin, knocking her out cold,” and that “it’s likely that my mother might have been nagging him about not having enough grocery money.” Jerry could be seen repeatedly inserting and removing her mother’s head into the toilet bowl.
The police were called as Twain and her sisters fled to the snow-covered porch and screamed. She recalled that when law officers arrived, the fighting stopped, and they said, “Until next time.”
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence. You can also discover further resources, information, and help on their website.