Shania was born in Windsor, Ontario to Clarence Edwards and his wife Sharon. Her parents divorced when she was two and her mother then moved with Eilleen and her sister Jill to Timmins, Ontario, where she married Jerry Twain. She attended Timmins High And Vocational School.
Her parents earned little, and there was often a shortage of food in the household. Due to their bleak financial situation, she started working.Aside from working at an Ontario McDonald`s restaurant, she began to earn money by singing in local clubs and bars from a very young age to support her family. She was singing in bars at the age of just eight to make ends meet, often earning twenty dollars between midnight and two in the morning when the bar had closed but the people remained. Although she has expressed a dislike for singing in such a smoky atmosphere at such a young age, Shania believes that this was her performing arts school on the road to becoming a successful singer.
At 13, Eilleen Twain, the future "Shania" Twain, was invited to perform on CBC television`s Tommy Hunter Show and in 1984, she sang a duet performance on an album by Canadian musician (and present-day CKTB radio personality) Tim Denis.