Shania Twain Facts
A big celebration is in store for Shania Twain this summer: the “Queen of Country Pop” will celebrate her 50th birthday on Aug. 28, 2015. It’s hard to believe that the Canadian country star has hit the half-century mark, but the legacy she’s left us through her music is an impressive one.
In honor of this milestone birthday, read through these 50 Shania Twain facts about the life and career of one of music’s most amazing success stories.
- Of five siblings, Twain is the second oldest. 1
- When she was young, her mother remarried Jerry Twain, whose surname Shania kept for her music career. 1
- She adopted the name “Shania” at age 24. Ojibwa for “I’m on my way,” the name draws from the heritage of her stepfather. 1
- By the time she was eight, Shania was already performing on stage at local clubs. (Her parents would wait to bring her until the bar had stopped selling alcohol for the night.) 1
- At the age of 10, Shania wrote her first song. It was titled “Mama Won’t You Come Out to Play.”
- In high school, Shania played the trumpet.
- Before becoming a singer, Shania held a number of odd jobs. She worked at a McDonald’s in high school, and later was a supervisor for her stepfather’s reforestation business.
- In her 20s, Shania spent some time headlining a Vegas-style stage show at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario. Here’s a montage of her performing songs like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Somewhere Out There,” and “Over the Rainbow.” 1
AN IMPRESSIVE RECORDING CAREER
- So far, Shania has released four studio albums: “Shania Twain” (1993), “The Woman in Me” (1995), “Come On Over” (1997), and “Up!” (2002).
- Twain has sold more than 75 million albums globally, and 48 million in the U.S. alone.
- Her first album only featured one of her own songs, “God Ain’t Gonna Getcha for That.”
- Shania earned her first No. 1 single on the Billboard country singles chart in 1995 with “Any Man of Mine” off her sophomore album.
- “Come On Over” is one of the top 10 best-selling albums in the United States. To date, it has sold over 20 million copies.
- “Come On Over” is also the most successful album released by any female artist in the U.S. The next closest, Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, has sold 17 million units.
- 10 of the 16 songs on “Come On Over” reached the top 20 slots of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
- Shania has never had a mainstream No. 1 hit in the U.S. Her closest single was “You’re Still the One,” which spent nine weeks at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
- Her last three albums have been certified double-Diamond in Canada, meaning each has sold at least four million copies.
- Shania co-wrote the song “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know” off Britney Spears’ sophomore album, “Oops! I Did It Again.”
- In a June 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Shania said she’s already written most of the songs and begun recording vocals for her forthcoming fifth studio album.
- Her songs have appeared on the soundtracks of a number of TV shows and films, including “Twister,” “Notting Hill,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
- Her song “Up!” was even used as a wake-up call for Canadian astronaut Dave Williams when he was in space on the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 2007.
MEMORABLE MUSIC VIDEOS
- Twain’s favorite music video look is the one she sports in “From This Moment On.”
- Academy Award winner Sean Penn directed Shania’s second music video for the song “Dance with the One That Brought You.”
- According to Robin Eggar’s 2005 biography, it took five hours to fit Shania perfectly into her black bell-bottom pants for the video for “(If You’re Not in It for Love) I’m Outta Here!”
SHANIA IN CONCERT
- Shania’s first major tour, the Triple Play Tour, was sponsored by her label, Mercury Nashville, to promote three new artists. The other two headliners were John Brannen and Toby Keith.
- To promote the 1998-99 Come On Over Tour, local radio stations held contests that allowed the winner to perform on stage with Shania. The winner in Ottawa was a then-unknown young singer called Avril Lavigne.
- Along with No Doubt and Sting, Shania was one of the halftime performers at Super Bowl XXXVII at Qualcomm Stadium in 2003.
- From 2012-14, Twain played 105 concerts at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace as part of her Las Vegas residency, Shania: Still the One.
- To announce her residency, Shania shut down the Las Vegas Strip when she arrived on horseback, accompanied by a herd of 40 other horses.
- Two horses--one black and one white--also featured into the live production of Shania: Still the One.
- More than 346,000 tickets were sold for Shania’s Las Vegas residency, earning the star more than $43 million over two years.
- One of her two sisters, Carrie-Ann, was a background singer for Shania: Still the One.
- Twain’s ongoing Rock This Country Tour kicked off in June. It is being billed as her farewell tour.
- She has at least three costume changes during the two-hour show, including a pair of her signature thigh-high boots.
A LIFETIME OF AWARDS AND HONORS
- According to her website, Twain has won at least 220 awards in her career. This includes five GRAMMYs, 26 Canadian Country Music Awards, and nine Billboard Music Awards.
- In 1999, Shania Twain became the first Canadian to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.
- Twain was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
- Second generation racecar driver Tim Fedewa told Sports Illustrated that he nicknamed his car Shania in honor of the Canadian singer.
- The Canada Post put Shania’s face on a stamp in 2014. The Shania Twain stamp is part of a series on famous Canadian country musicians, including k.d. lang, Tommy Hunter, Renee Martel, and Hank Snow.
SHANIA TWAIN’S PERSONAL LIFE
- Shania suffers from dysphonia, a stress disorder that can affect vocal chords.
- Shania has been a vegetarian for years. In 2001, she was the first person to be named PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity.
- Her dream duet partners include Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, and Stevie Wonder, as well as Etta James and Karen Carpenter.
- Twain is a devotee of the Eastern spiritual movement Sant Mat, which emphasizes the importance of daily meditation and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
- According to a 2009 University of Toronto study, Twain has a perfect face. The calculations are based on the precise distance between facial features.
- In 2004 Shania made a rare guest appearance in the film “I Heart Huckabees” opposite Jude Law and Jason Schwartzmann.
- Ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Twain was selected as the torchbearer for her hometown of Timmins.
- In 2011, Twain published a memoir, titled “From This Moment On,” which she wrote completely on her own without the help of a ghostwriter.
- If Twain hadn’t been a singer, she thinks she “would have done something more traditional with [her] life,” like becoming a veterinarian or an architect.