As I grew up listening to her multi-chart hit singles like ``You`re Still the One`` and ``From This Moment On``, which are my favourites, her thrilling melodious voice would often echo in my room and tingle my nerves. She was the One and for sure, She Still is the One. Born to Clarence Edwards and Sharon on August 28, 1965 in Windsor, Eillen Regina Edwards ( later changed to Shania Twain ) grew up to become a leading Canadian singer and songwriter in the country and pop music genres. Her parents divorced when she was two and her mother moved to Timmins, Ontario, where she married Jerry Twain, an Ojibwa. He adopted Eillen and her sister Jill, thus legally changing their last name to Twain.
Twain is the only female musician to have three albums certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America, and is also the second best selling artist in Canada, after Celine Dion, with three of her studio albums being certified double diamond by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. Twain has achieved both critical and financial success, having received five Grammy awards, 27 BMI Songwriter awards, and has sold over 70 million albums worldwide to date including 48 million in the US alone.
Life was not a bed of roses for Shania in her early years, so she started singing in dance bars from the age of eight to support her family. In the remote, rugged community she also learned to hunt and to chop wood.
Eillen was the singer for a local band called ``Longshot``, while attending Timmins High and Vocational School in Timmins, Ontario, where she got her first break at the age of 13. Her musical career was put on hold, when her mother and step-father father died in a car accident on November 1, 1987. The 22-year-old singer moved to Huntsville, Ontario, and provided for her three other siblings by performing at the nearby Deerhurst Resort.
Here comes the country diva ‘Shania Twain’
Twain began her first recording contract in 1991, on her self-titled debut album, where she also wrote one of the songs (``God Ain`t Gonna Getcha for That``). The album`s first two singles, ``What Made You Say That" and ``Dance with the One That Brought You`` peaked at No. 55 on the Hot Country Songs chart, while its third single, ``You Lay a Whole Lot of Love on Me``, failed to reach the charts. It has sold 1 million copies to date and was certified platinum by the RIAA.
‘The Woman in Me’
Later, she worked on a second album with her husband, producer Robert John ``Mutt`` Lange, and in 1995 `The Woman in Me` singer produced her first No1 single, ``Any Man of Mine``. The album topped the country charts for months and crossed over to mainstream charts, peaking at No. 5. ‘The Woman in Me’ won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album as well as the Academy of Country Music award for Album of the Year. She was also awarded as Best New Female Vocalist.
‘Come on Over’
Twain released her follow-up album, `Come on Over` in 1997, which established her as a successful crossover singer. Though it never hit the top spot , she made it to the top with the multi-chart hit singles like ``You`re Still the One``, ``Don`t Be Stupid``, ``Honey, I`m Home``, ``Man! I Feel Like a Woman!``, ``That Don`t Impress Me Much`` and ``From This Moment On``. The album sales skyrocketed, and it stayed on the charts for the next two years. `Come on Over` went on to sell 20 million copies in the United States and over 34 million worldwide, making it the biggest-selling album of all time by a female musician, and the biggest-selling country album of all time. It is also the 8th biggest-selling album by any type of artist in the US.
Songs from the album won four Grammy Awards over the next two years, including Best Country Song for Twain and Lange for ``You`re Still the One`` and ``Come on Over" and Best Female Country Performance for ``You`re Still the One`` and ``Man! I Feel Like a Woman!``
`Up` came after a two year break, and was released on November 19, 2002 as a double album, with three different ``remix`` discs--pop (a red CD), country (a green CD) and world music (a blue CD. Up! was given 4 out of 5 stars by Rolling Stone magazine, and debuted at No.1 on the Billboard albums chart, selling 874,000 in the first week alone. It charted at the top for five weeks. `Up!` reached No1 in Germany, No. m 2 in Australia and the Top Five in the UK and France. Especially in Germany it became a real long seller, certified quadruple platinum and stayed in the Top 100 for 1 and a half years. The first single from the album, ``I`m Gonna Getcha Good!``, became a top 10 country hit in the US, after debuting only for five days of airplay. The romantic ballad ``Forever and For Always`` was released as a single in April 2003, peaked at number four on the country chart and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart, and made as well the Billboard Top 20. Again success was even bigger on the other side of the Atlantic with ``Forever and For Always`` again reaching the Top 10 in both, the UK and Germany.
Shania released her Greatest Hit album in 2004, with three new tracks. To date it has sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. The first single, the multi-format duet ``Party for Two``, made to the country top ten with Billy Currington, while the pop version with Sugar Ray lead singer Mark McGrath made to top ten in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Apart from her music, Twain did a series of cosmetic ads in 1999 based on ``Man! I Feel Like a Woman!`` for Revlon. She starred in ads for Candie`s shoes and Gitano jeans, who also sponsored her ‘Come On Over Tour’ in 1998-1999. She launched her namesake fragrance ``Shania by Stetson`` partnering COTY in 2005, and a second fragrance called ``Shania Starlight`` in Sept 2007.
Awards and honours
• She was named the 1999 Entertainer of the Year by both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association; Twain was the first non-US citizen to win the CMA award.
• Shania Twain was ranked No7 in Country Music Television`s 40 Greatest Women of Country Music in 2002.
• In 2003, Twain was inducted into Canada`s Walk of Fame.
• The city of Timmins (located in Ontario, Canada) renamed a street for her, gave her the key to the city, and built the Shania Twain Centre in her honour.
• On November 18, 2005, Twain was made as an Officer in the Order of Canada.
I need to heal my `broken heart`
The beautiful country star opened up to fans about her ‘’broken heart’’ on splitting from her husband, Robert "Mutt" Lange. The couple had got married in December 28, 1993. Twain and Mutt announced their separation in June this year after 14 years of marriage.
The country star writes in a message to fans posted on her web site, "As I am sure you have seen or heard; I am going through a rough time personally in my life." "I wanted you all to know that I could not be getting through this without you. Your letters, emails and words of encouragement give me strength. Your overwhelming support reminds me to smile, no matter how deep the pain and to always be grateful for all the beautiful blessings in my life."
"I have so much to say but I know the best way for me to speak is through my music," continues Twain. "This is my therapy, my passion, and my love. I look forward to sharing it with all of you as I begin this new journey. ``I need some time to heal this broken heart but make no mistake; I will be back and hopefully stronger than ever. Thank you my friends, from the bottom of my heart``.
Well, that`s, not the end of the world, but may this special day opens a world of new life, true happiness with love and peace just as we love her.
No matter age or illness, sing undaunted, though you may be by dreams or memories haunted, yet sing, and live and love this day enjoy!