Shania Twain - Living the Life of a Country Song
Nashville is noted for hard-luck stories that turn intosequined successes,
seemingly overnight. But Shania Twain, a Canadian and part-Ojibway Indian
who raised her three younger siblings after their parents died, holds
bragging rights to the toughest tale. A gifted songwriter who learned her craft
in Canada's Living the life of a country song honky-tonks, Twain, 30, broke
onto country playlists in January with "Whose Bed Have Your Boots
Been Under?" No sooner had that song reached No. 1 than Twain scored again
with "Any Man of Mine" and the title tune to her now 3-million-selling album,
The Woman in Me, making many wonder how such full-blown talent had been
nurtured without being noticed first on Nashville's Music Row.
The answer could be turned into a classic down-and-out ballad. Born in poverty
to an Irish mother and Ojibway father, Shania--the name means "On My Way"
in Ojibwan--learned to hunt, trap and pick guitar while
growing up.She sang in bars as a teen to earn money for her family in Timmins,
an Ontario mining town. After her parents were killed in a 1987 car accident,
Shania, then 22, cared for her brothers and sister.She headed to Nashville only
after they were grown.
Twain added another colorful twist to her résumé two years ago when she met
British album producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. His platinum touch has
helped albums for AC/DC, Def Leppard and Michael Bolton, among
others, sell more than 100 million copies. Twain's debut album caught Lange's
ear, and the two began a transoceanic collaboration that led to marriage in
1993--and to The Woman in Me. For Twain, who capped her year with a
performance for the First Couple at Ford's Theatre in Washington on Nov. 12,
success means having little time to share with her husband at their lavish new
3,000-acre estate in the Adirondacks. "I've
been so busy," she says with a weary smile, "we usually pass each other at airports."
People Weekly, Jan/1996
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