Shania Twain: Snapshot

Shania Twain
Date of Birth
August 28, 1965
Birth Place
Windsor, Ontario
Shania Twain proved she was too big to be contained by Nashville when Come On Over became the top-selling album ever by a solo female artist.

Before country crossover success, Twain, only 22, sang at a resort to support her three younger siblings after both her parents were killed in a 1987 car accident. Once they were grown, though, Nashville beckoned, and her collaboration with future husband, rock producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange – and her sexy music videos – helped her soar on the pop charts.

The five-time Grammy winner, who lived a sheltered life with Lange and their son Eja in Switzerland, returned to the spotlight when she split with her husband of 14 years – who allegedly had an affair with close confidante Marie-Anne Thiébaud. Twain moved on with Thiébaud's ex-husband Frédéric, marrying him in Puerto Rico on New Year's Day 2011.

Shania Twain: Five Fun Facts

  1. Shania means "I'm on my way" in Ojibwa, a Canadian/American Indian nation that her stepfather Jerry Twain belonged to.
  2. Shania Twain is a devotee of an Eastern religion called Sant Mat, which calls for daily meditation as well as abstinence from alcohol, drugs and premarital sex.
  3. Mutt Lange used to call Shania Twain "Woody," derived from an old hairdo he said made her look like Woody Woodpecker.
  4. In high school, Shania Twain worked the counter at a local McDonald's. "I learned tons about the meaning of service there," she told Time in 2002.
  5. NASCAR driver Tim Fedewa nicknamed his car "Shania," according to Sports Illustrated. Her response upon hearing the news? "I hope he's still alive."

Shania Twain: Biography


Shania Twain

Early Changes

Born Eilleen Regina Edwards, Twain is only 2 when her father, Clarence Edwards, divorces her mother, Sharon. In 1971, Sharon remarries Jerry Twain, an Ojibwa Indian, and he adopts and raises Shania in the rural Canadian mining town of Timmins, Ontario. "My dad's side of the family was the side we grew up with," Twain tells PEOPLE of her upbringing with Jerry. "So it was the Indians that were really our family." By 8, she's singing in clubs in the middle of the night. Her parents often wake her at 1 a.m. to go perform after last call. Stardom was "their dream," she tells PEOPLE in 1995. "I dreamed about being a kid."


Shania Twain


Party of Four

Twain parents are killed in a head-on collision. Only 22, Twain cares for her three teenage siblings by singing at the upscale Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario. "I was overwhelmed with a lot of decisions," Twain later tells PEOPLE. But, she adds, "What I learned through all of that was how strong I was capable of being. I didn't fall apart. I kept it together, paid the bills, took care of the kids, did the groceries, cooked and cleaned and still kept down a job."


Shania Twain

Finding a Mutt

Once her siblings are old enough to take care of themselves, Twain pursues her dreams in Nashville, signing a record deal with Mercury Nashville, which releases her 1993 self-titled debut album. Around that time, Twain begins writing songs over the phone with reclusive London-based producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. In June 1993, after months of working together, they finally meet in person. By December, they're married. "It was just like a dream," Twain tells EW.

Read More on Shania Twain's Life

Photo Credits

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): WENN;

Edited by Julia Wang

Shania Twain

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