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Aug 28, 1965 Eilleen Edwards born in Windsor, Ontario to Clarence and Sharon Edwards.
1968 Clarence and Sharon separate. Sharon moves to Timmins, Ontario.
1971 Sharon marries Jerry Twain, an Ojibwa Indian from Timmins.
1973 Eilleen begins singing in public, including community centres, senior citizen homes and the Mattagami Hotel Lounge.
1974 Performs duets with Lawrence Martin, an Ojibwa singer (now recording on First Nations Records).
1978 Appears on The Tommy Hunter Show in Toronto.
1983 Graduates from Timmins High and Vocational School.
1984 Plays in the band Longshot in the Timmins area.
1984-1987 Works at family reforestation company during the summers. Plays in bands on the weekends and in the winters.
1987 Performs at Canadian Native Arts Foundation's gala, as opening act for Bernadette Peters and the Toronto Symphony.
1987 Jerry and Sharon are killed in a car accident.
1987 Eilleen becomes guardian of her two brothers and and sister, and executor of her parents' estate.
1988-1991 Eilleen moves family to Huntsville, Ontario, where she works as a singer and performer in the Deerhurst Resort's dinner theatre and Viva Vegas show.
1991 Eilleen changes name to Shania, which means "I'm on my way" in Ojibwa. Shania is the name of a costume assistant with whom Eilleen worked at Deerhurst.
1991 Dick Frank, a Nashville entertainment lawyer, comes to Deerhurst, at the invitation of Mary bailey, to see Shania perform.
1991 Shania signs a recording contract with Mercury Nashville and moves to Nashville to record a demo tape.
1992 Shania records her debut album at the Music Mill Studio in Nashville with Harold Shedd and Norro Wilson coproducing.
Shania (shu-NYE-uh), an Ojibway name meaning "I'm on my way" -- an appropriately beautiful moniker for an extraordinary talent who is definitely on her way. In fact, Shania has been on a musical path practically since she could walk. Born in Windsor, and raised in Timmins, Ontario, where both her father (an Ojibway Indian) and her mother were raised, Shainia's was not the typical upbringing one would expect from living in the rural environment.
The second oldest of five children, the talented little girl's life was not filled with Barbie doll's and fingerpaints. "I pretty much missed my childhood,"she says. "I've always been focused. My career has always been very consuming. It probably consumes me less than it did as a child. I liked to escape my personal life through my music. Music was all I ever did. I spent a lot of time in solitude with just my guitar, writing and singing for hours. I would play 'till my fingers were bruised, and I Loved it! But I never enjoyed the pressure of being a performer. My parents forced me to perform, which in the long run was the best thing because I was naturally quite a recluse. If not for my parents, I'd still be singing in my bedroom and be quite content, mind you." Although being forced is a rather harsh description, nonetheless her folks were, let's say, "enthusiastic" about their daughter's obvious gifts. "I used to be dragged out of bed at 1:00am and they would bring me to the local club to play with the band. You see, they couldn't alow me in a liquor premise before 1:00am. When they stopped serving, I'd get up and sing a few songs with the band, and before I knew it, I was actually doing clubs professionally. From the age of eight, I was doing weekends, the odd gig here and there. I did everything my parents could get me on. Every TV station, every radio station, every community center, every senior center," she laughs. "They had me doing everything!" One would wonder why her parents, as Shania put it, "were so obsessed" with creating a musical career for their child. "My mother lived for my career. We were extremely poor when I was a kid, and my mother was often depressed with five children and no food to feed them. She knew I was talented and she lived with the hope that my abilities were my chance to do something special." Along with pursuing music, Shania spent many a summer working with her dad as a foreman for a 13-man reforestation crew in the middle of the Canadian bush. This petite woman can weild an axe handle and a chainsaw as well as any man twice her size. Her delicate appearance also belies a tough little survivor. That inner strength was put to the ultimate test at the tender age of 21, when both of her parents were killed in an automobile crash. This unfortunate incident propelled the young artist even further into her musical career. Now, however, it was not as an escape from, but as a headlong plunge right into reality.
"My personal life changed drastically. When my parents died, my brothers and younger sister were still living at home. My brothers were only 13 and 14 years old and I became sister/mom. I had responsibilities, so I couldn't just go around getting gigs here and there, or writing only when I felt like it. I took a job singing at a resort, I bought a house, a family truck and settled down -- I thought, forever." The position at the Deerhurst resort ended up to be the most educational period, as a performer, in her career. She did everything from musical comedy theatre to Andrew Lloyd Weber to Gershwin. About three years later, one by one, her siblings got on their feet and went their own ways. "When they left, I felt like a 45 year old woman whose kids had gone away to college. I was like 'WOW!' I have my whole life to live now. I had all this time on my hands. I didn't have to cook and clean for anybody. Didn't have to pay any bills but mine." she explains, her voice picking up speed. "Didn't have to go to school meetings. Didn't have to pick them up after work and take them to teen dances. Drive them here. Drive them there. It was like 'I'm FREE!!' I said 'now what am I gonna do with my life? ' I decided I wanted to go for it!" When it was time to really go for it, Shania was packing the goods. "I put together a demo of original music and didn't even go to Nashville right away. My manager (longtime buddy Mary Bailey) arranged for Richard Frank, a Nashville lawyer, to come to a showcase in Canada. He got the ball rolling, setting up a meeting with producer Norro Wilson. He introduced me to Buddy Cannon, who was in A&R at Mercury Nashville at the time, and he handed my tape over to the head of the label. That was it!!" But with the extensive experience Shania had recently received in the musical theatre and a talent so versatile that she could handle just about any style of music, why did Twain gravitate towards Nashville and country music? "My parents were obsessed with country music," she explains. "I grew up listening to Waylon, Willie, Dolly, Tammy, all of them, but I also used to listen to The Mamas and the Pappas, The Carpenters, The Supremes, The Jacksons and such. But, as a child performer it was always country, so that's how I developed." The tape and meetings resulted in a record deal and Shania's self-titled debut album. Not only did the release peak interest in Canada and the U.S. (with cuts like "What Made You Say That" and "Dance With The One That Bought You"), it also enjoyed a great deal of success overseas, earning Shania CMT Europe's Rising Video Star of the Year award. This brings us to The Woman In Me, a truly international project written in Spain, Italy, the Caribbean, England, Canada and the United States -- and recorded at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec. Once again, this latest step in Shania's career is interwined with her personal life. Through her art she met the love of her life, producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, who is now her husband. This is the story: "Mutt's a huge country music fan," she says smiling. "I may be the princess in his life, but Tammy Wynette is the Queen! The steel guitar is his favourite instrument. He was a fan of mine through my first album and wanted to meet me. We first talked on the phone several weeks before we met in person. He got a hold of me through my manager. I had no idea he was a world famous record producer.
I didn't read the back of pop and rock albums, which was good because I wasn't intimidated by him. Otherwise, I don't think I would have been able to express myself creatively without any inhibitions. It worked out really well. We became good friends over the phone, we were even writing songs and exchanging ideas. Creatively we were very in sync with each other. The first time I actually talked to him face to face was in Nashville during Mercury's Fan Fair show in '93, and we haven't wanted to be apart from that moment on." Viva l'amour!!! She continues, "We ended up writing half the album, mind you, before we even became romantically involved. Creatively, romantically, it's a wonderful, wonderful marriage. My husband Mutt is the producer of my dreams and the love of my life. They are two seperate entities, but at the same time what more could any girl ask for?" As a songwriter, Shania's muse comes from a very little childlike perspective. "Writing's like colouring," she thoughtfully pauses. "Kids like to colour, they don't need to have a reason to colour -- they just like it. Why do they use orange instead of pink, or green instead of blue? I don't know... they don't know, they just do. They have no inhibitions. They are totally open to be creative. That's how I feel about songwriting. It's a chance to just create without inhibitions." Shania is very proud of the work she and Mutt put into this project, having together written or co-written every cut on it. "'Whose Bed Have Your Bed Been Under' is something I've been kicking around for the last couple of years," she says. "I'm proud of this one because the title and the hook seem to be getting everybody's attention. I'm not a new writer, but I am kinda new on the scene. It's really cool to be able to come up with a hook that someone likeMutt beliieves in. He feels it's a hit song. That excites me!". Canadian radio programmers feel it is a hit also -- it debuted at 33 on the Record's Country Chart. "The chorus to 'Home Ain't Where His Heart Is (Anymore)' is something I had written a couple of years ago, and sang to Mutt over the phone during our first conversation. That's when he realized I had writing potential he wanted to tap into. It's the first song we ended up completing together, the first song we demoed, the first one we recorded in the studio in Nashville and the first song we mixed and completed. So we thought it would only be appropriate if it was the first song on the album."
Several of the songs on The Woman In Me blend Shania's country sensibility with Mutt's famous over the top production. "'Any Man Of Mine' is also something that I've been working for wuite a while. Mutt and I finished it together as well. I think it could be the impact song of the album. It is an excellent combination of the two of us. It's got everything that he's known for as a good producer and a writer, yet it's so me it's not funny. The title cut is another good example of a collaboration of our two backgrounds. It really is the two of us right down the middle." Another song that hold a special place in Shania's heart is "God Bless The Child". "That song is a lullaby I wrote after my parents died. I would go for long walks in the bush by myself with this song swimming around in my head. I really didn't know where the melody came from. When I met Mutt, I sang it for him and he said "WOW -- that's beautiful!!". We didn't even change it. There's no chorus, no verse, just a thought....no story, no hook, nothing commercial at all about it. It's just a true sincere thought and emotion." Shania's hope is to be percieved as an all-around artist, known not only for her singing but also for her ability to write. " I don't want to be seen as just a pretty face with a pretty voice, that type of thing. For me, not singing my own material, is just so awkward. I'm in control of my career now. I enjoy it because I want to do it, because I have to." Shania has also come to a place in her life where she has found that delicate balance between her career and her personal life. " I won't neglect my personal life. I wouldn't be able to write the songs or play the music, or even be a responsible artist in any way, shape or form if I'm not happy as a person. So my personal life comes first." With a clear head and her smart new album 'The Woman In Me', Shania Twain is well "on her way" to realizing her hopes and fulfilling her mother's dream for the little girl who grew up in her own magical musical world. Indeed, what more could a girl ask for? But now comes time for a new album. She dabbled and wrote for well over a year. Her an Mutt traveled the world in order to write and concentrate on the music. By 11/4/97- Shania unveiled what was to become her most popular album so far, and with that, accomplished the daring feat of crossing over into the world of Pop. Her first Country release from the album,"Love Gets Me Every Time" quickly shot to the top of the charts and remained there for a record-setting 5 weeks, a task that had not been done by a woman since Dolly Parton did it in 1977. The single quickly went Gold. Her next single, Don't Be Stupid, Peaked at number 6. Her Third Release would be her biggest yet. With the release of " You're Still The One", she not only collected another country hit, but a Pop hit as well. The song peaked at number 1 on country charts, number 1 on Adult Contemperary charts, and broke into the top 5 on Top 40 Charts. This was almost unheard of in country music, and of course the country conservatives began to talk. The compared her to Madonna rather than Minnie Pearl. With the crossover came sucess for her.
She was Invited to be a Vh1 Diva along with Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, and Gloria Estefon. The single sold nearly 2 million copies and won her numerous awards, including Grammies, american music awards,CMT awards, VH1 awards, MTV awards, and Billboard awards. Her next single, "From This Moment On" Debut at number 5 on the Billboard hot 100 singles chart, higher than any other country artist in history. The song went to number 6 on country charts and number 1 on adult contempary charts.She then racked up several more country hits including, "Honey, Im Home!", "That Don't Impress Me Much", and "Man, I Feel Like a Woman", "You've Got A Way", and "Come On Over". She has now graced the covers of Cosmo, Glamour, and people magazine who has her pinned her a "pop star" rather than a country queen.To date, her album, Shania Twain, has been certified platinum, The Woman In Me has been certifed 11 million, and her latest effort, Come On Over, has recently been certified for sales of 16 million, putting her in a tie for best female album of all time, and best country album of all time. In 1999, her year was culminated when She was named the prestigious COuntry Music Associations Entertainer of the year. Those Numbers put her with the ranks of such divas as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. She not only has the top 2 albums by a female Country artist of all time, but is the only woman in history to have 2 consecutive albums sell more than 10 million copies, and the albums are still going strong. No bad for a girl who just wanted to be a back-up singer. She is far past being "on her way", for she has definatly made it, and is one of the most sucessful women in music of all time.