Artist Profile: Shania Twain

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Born as Eilleen Regina Edwards in 1965 in Windsor, Ontario, middle sister Shania Twain and her family moved to Timmins, Ontario at the age of 2 after her parent’s divorce.

Shania grew up in poverty: her parents earned little money and went hungry at school. Twain also witnessed domestic violence first-hand. Starting at eight, Shania would sing in Timmins bars to help support the family, honing her craft.

At the age of 13, Twain was invited to perform on CBC television’s the Tommy Hunter Show. She joined a cover band in high school called “Longshot.”

Twain started working at her father’s reforestation business before working with vocal coach Ian Garrett in Toronto (she would clean his house to pay for the lesson.)

She sang back-up vocals on Tim Denis’ “Heavy on the Sunshine” before trekking to Nashville to record some demos. Her first big break came on February 8, 1987, when Shania performed at the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto with Broadway star Bernadette Peters, jazz guitarist Don Ross, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

On November 1, 1987, Twain’s mother and stepfather died in a car accident and put her musical career on hold to raise her family. Six years later, she signed with Mercury Nashville and released her debut album in 1993. Her first self-titled album flew under the radar, but her second album The Woman In Me sold 20 million records worldwide thanks to eight US Country singles.

Third album Come On Over went on to sell over 40 million units worldwide, while fourth album Up! sold over 10 million copies in the United States alone. With only four studio albums under her belt, Shania Twain has sold an estimated 85 million units across the globe.

Twain also played a critical part in launching the career of Napanee, Ontario native Avril Lavigne when the latter won a contest to play on-stage with the country superstar in front of 20,000 people–talk about supporting your fellow Canadians!

Shania Twain is prepping to release her fifth studio album, Now, for a September 29, 2017 release.

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