Shania Twain (1965-) is a prominent Canadian Country Music
singer known for her slick, hooky, crossover-friendly music and longtime marriage to Record Producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Twain had humble beginnings in Timmins, Ontario, singing at bars at an early age and later appearing on local TV and radio shows. After losing both of her parents in a car accident, she began performing at a resort, eventually getting discovered by a representative of Mercury Records. Signed in 1993, she did not garner much attention for her self-titled debut album, which produced only a pair of singles that both peaked at #55.
Her fortunes would change when she married Lange, who steered her towards a production and songwriting style indebted to 1980s rock and pop, much like Lange had previously produced himself. The change in sound proved wildly successful, with eight big singles all being launched from her breakthrough album The Woman in Me.
Driven both by the big singles and hit videos, The Woman in Me
stayed at the top of the albums charts for a very long time and went on to sell over 12 million copies stateside. All but two of the singles also made at least a dent in the Hot 100 charts, and "God Bless the Child" topped the Canadian singles charts.
In 1997, she released Come On Over.
It, too, was a blockbuster success, with more than 10 million albums sold and a whopping eleven
singles released to country radio (plus a twelfth, "When," sent to pop only in Canada and the UK). Lead-off single "Love Gets Me Every Time" set a new record for the highest debut ever made on the country music charts by a female artist, and went on to become her longest lasting #1 at five weeks. Also like the last album, almost all of the singles crossed over to pop and AC in both countries. After this album, Twain and Lange went on sabbatical to raise their son, Eja.
It was not until 2002 that Twain returned to the music, releasing Up!
late in the year. This album was not quite as successful, although it sent five singles up the country charts and three more ("Ka-Ching!", "Thank You Baby! (For Makin' Someday Come So Soon)" and "When You Kiss Me") to international formats. None of the singles went to #1 on country, but "Forever and For Always" was a major AC hit. Also in an unusual move, Up!
was issued as a double disc, with a different mix on the second disc depending on the market. Promptly afterward, she released a Greatest Hits Album
which included three new songs: "Party for Two," "Don't!" and "I Ain't No Quitter." None of these singles saw much success. Her last chart entry for many years was "Shoes" from the multi-artist Music from and Inspired by Desperate Housewives
. She has remained in the business and long promised a fifth studio album. In 2009, she divorced Mutt Lange.
Twain re-entered the spotlight in 2011 with a reality show on Oprah Winfrey
's OWN network. Also that year, she threw radio a bone with "Today Is Your Day", a teaser single produced by Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift
's producer). She also covered "Endless Love" on Lionel Richie
's duets album Tuskeegee
a year later.
- Shania Twain (1993)
- The Woman in Me (1995)
- Come On Over (1997)
- Up! (2002)
- Greatest Hits (2004)
Shania Twain is the Trope Namer for:
- All Women Love Shoes: Invoked in "Shoes", which has the line "Men are like shoes."
- Bare Your Midriff: One of her trademarks.
- Call-and-Response Song: "Party for Two", a duet with Billy Currington (with an alternate version including Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray).
- Distinct Double Album: As mentioned above, Up! was released with different mixes on its second disc. The first (red) disc was the same worldwide (pop mixes). The second disc was green (country mixes) in the USA and Canada, or blue (Indian mixes) elsewhere. For obvious reasons, the Indian one is very different to the other two.
- Dream Team: Got into singing again with "White Christmas" with Michael Bublé on his Christmas album.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before her debut album, she sang backing vocals for then-labelmates: Jeff Chance's 1992 album Walk Softly on the Bridges and Sammy Kershaw's 1993 album Haunted Heart.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Her self-titled first album for Mercury is fairly standard early-90s mainstream country without much distinction, far removed from her signature sound. Since almost none of these songs fit her musical image, and none were significant hits, they have long since been ignored.
- Interestingly, "Today Is Your Day" suggested a move back into the mainstream.
- Excited Show Title!: Several of her song titles have exclamation marks: "(If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here!", "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!", "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!", "Up!", "Ka-Ching!" (those latter three were released consecutively), "Thank You Baby! (For Makin' Someday Come So Soon)" and "Whatever You Do! Don't!"
- Fanservice: Shania was one of the first country singers to really exploit her sex appeal, and she was fairly controversial within the country fandom because of this.
- But note that she also quoted as having said that she explicitly does not like stripping off, insisting that audiences focus "on the music" and not on anything else.
- Long Runner: Come On Over had possibly the longest period of success of any album. No less than 12 singles released from it (not counting reissues), from three different mixes of the album, over the course of three years. In an unusual case, it became most popular 2 years after it had been released in the US and Canada.
- Lyrics/Video Mismatch: "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!"
- Meaningful Name: Shania is Ojibway for "I'm on my way."
- Parody Assistance: In 1995, a Twin Cities (Minnesota) DJ named Gino Ruberto recorded a parody of "Any Man of Mine" titled "Any Gal of Mine", which got some airplay on After Midnite with Blair Garner and actually made the country charts (credited to "Gino the New Guy") without the support of a label. The song opened with Twain herself giving a spoken-word warning to Gino.
- Rearrange the Song: Both the albums Come On Over and Up! were remixed for international markets, where country music was not as popular as the US. Many of the songs are similar but missing fiddles or country elements. However, in the case of "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" they completely changed the mood of the song, from a guitar driven country rock song to an sparse electro ballad (with occasional guitar).
- Also, the "UK Dance Mix" of "That Don't Impress Me Much" has a different, more rhythmic guitar riff in it than the original does. This version became the hit version in the UK and elsewhere, and many fans had no idea it was a remix. The radio occasionally played the original by mistake.
- The pop mix of "From This Moment On" was changed from a duet with Bryan White to a solo song.
- Refrain from Assuming: "Love Gets Me Every Time" was originally titled "Gol Darn Gone and Done It," but changed because Twain thought that the original title would be too difficult for disc jockeys to say. The latter phrase is more prominent in the chorus, furthering the confusion.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: She and Mutt were the only two backing vocalists on all of the albums.
- Studio Chatter: At the end of "No One Needs to Know", one voice says "There's your record, hoss!" and another adds, "Yep, there you go, dude."
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Come On Over" goes up a half-step for each verse (E to F to F-sharp).
- Vocal Decay: According to The Other Wiki:
She then began to re-evaluate her life and noted a pattern of attempting to withhold emotions, which affected her voice (for both speaking and singing). She explained the loss of her voice was attributed to a cumulative stress that began with domestic violence in her childhood, continued with the death of her parents and the stress from her musical career, and finally exploded with the divorce. As a result, the singer developed dysphonia, an impairment in the ability to produce voice sounds using the vocal organs as a result of tightened muscles enveloping her voice box.
- Your Cheating Heart: "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" is pretty self explanatory.