Shania Sitting On Top of The World
Despite another in what seems like an endless series of promotional trips, interview and photo shoots, Shania Twain is as friendly, accomodating and down to earth as a suerstar could possibly be. That she's the biggest thing in country music - on both sides of the border - seems lost on her, as she artfully poses for the camera in a downtown Toronto studio.
"It's funny, because when things are happening you're not really aware of how it's affecting people and because I'm so busy, I'm often the last one to know what's going on," she says, with a chuckle, "I'm not really up on a lot of the numbers and charts."
Her genuine ambivalence towards music industry statistics is as refreshing as northern breeze, but belies the vastness of her accomplishments. And while the numbers tell the story - Twain's The Woman In Me album has sold over 200,000 copies in Canada and almost 2 million in the US - they scarcely reveal the breadth of her success. At press time her album was sitting in the No. 1 position on Billboard's country chart in the US and No 8 on its album chart; and her second single, Any Man Of Mine went to No 1 in both Canada and the US (making her the first Canadian since Anne Murray in 1986 to hit the top spot in America). Her first aingle, Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under, went No 1 at Canadian country radio, and top 10 in the US.; she's appeared on numerous TV shows including Regis & Kathy Lee and Entertainment Tonight, and has been the subject of features in newspapers and magazines ranging from Entertainment Weekly to the Globe And Mail.
"I didn't even realize til just recently that I was the first Canadian to top the singles chart since 1986, but what means more to me is that the album has been No1 because it means people are buying and enjoying the whole album," she says.
And while she had high hopes for the album when it came out last February, never did she imagine such rapid success. "I think the speed is what overwhelms me more than anything. Our hopes were, obviously, to get a double or even triple-platinum album, but over time - you don't expect it all to happen in just a few months," she adds.
With seven nominations in next week's Canadian Country Music Awards, and a commitment to perform at the show she will be the centerpiece of what should be a great night for homegrown country music. And perhaps more importantly, her success, like that of others before her, can only help Canadian country artists reach a larger audience - on both sides of the border.
S.H, Network, September/October 1995 cover