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As one of the best-selling artists of all time with 100 million records sold, it’s no wonder Shania Twain has been dubbed the “Queen of Country Pop.” However, as shown in his Netflix documentary, Shania Twain: Not just a girlreleased on July 26, her rise to stardom was no easy feat.
The singer grew up in a mining town called Timmins in Ontario, Canada, as one of five children living with her mother and stepfather, Sharon and Jerry Twain. They often struggled to make ends meet, Twain revealed in the documentary. He described his home as “violent” but found solace in music. Despite her financial challenges, Twain’s mother encouraged her to pursue a career in music, even taking her to perform after hours in bars when she was 8 years old. But just as Twain was beginning to make a name for himself, tragedy struck, a pattern that would sadly repeat itself later in life. Keep scrolling to see how Shania Twain overcame her biggest struggles and hardships.
Shania Twain’s family faced tragedy very early on
In 1987, when Twain’s music career was taking off, his parents died in a car accident. He left her responsible for her younger siblings at just 22 years old. “Nobody could really help me through this pain,” Twain recalled in his documentary. “At that point I just wanted to quit and get a real job.” He took a job at a Canadian resort to support his siblings. Despite his reservations about pursuing a career in music, it was there that he realized he had “a talent that would be a shame to throw away”. She juggled raising her siblings, working, and continuing to pursue her musical dreams, eventually signing her first record deal in 1992.
She was betrayed by ex-husband Mutt Lange
Despite landing her first record deal, Twain struggled to maintain creative control over her music in the male-dominated world of country music. She said she had very little creative input on her first album, but was able to show her sexy side in her “What Made You Say That” music video. The video, which showed her filming with a man on the beach, was risque at the time and caught the attention of Robert John “Mutt” Lange, a well-known rock producer.
Lange reached out to Twain and the two formed a musical and romantic partnership that allowed the singer more creative license. After six months, they married and wrote their second album, The woman in me. The album won him many accolades, including a Grammy for Best Country Album and Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1996. However, it was the second album Twain wrote with Lange, Come on, this made her a global superstar. Twelve songs from the album were released as singles, with several charting, including “You’re Still the One,” which was written about Twain and Lange’s love. Come on it remains the best-selling country album of all time with 40 million copies sold and is the best-selling album by a female artist.
The duo continued to have hits together and welcomed their son, Eja, in 2001. But in 2008 the couple split after it was revealed that Lange was having an affair with Twain’s close friend Marie-Anne Thiébaud. They officially divorced in 2010, and by 2011 Twain had remarried her former friend’s ex, Frédéric Thiébaud.
Shania Twain’s voice was put to the test
In the midst of her divorce, Twain was also facing another personal setback. She was diagnosed with Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick while riding a horse. His diagnosis prevented him from recording a new album in 2004, and although his Lyme disease symptoms began to subside, his “voice was never the same,” he revealed in the documentary.
Between the problems with her voice and her divorce, “I just [didn’t] See any sense in pursuing a musical career,” he recalled of his headspace at the time. But Twain acknowledged that he had to do something to “crawl himself out” of the hole he had fallen into. “I had to baby steps ” she said of getting back to work. However, Lionel Richie had other plans. He asked her to re-record “Endless Love” with him while he was still regaining the confidence to sing again. Although Twain didn’t think that ready, Richie was persistent. “I thought: Well, if I fail, I’d rather fail with someone who is forgiving, sweet, and kind” she said. While recording with Richie, she learned that “with a lot of effort” she could sing again.
What’s up with Shania Twain’s new album and Las Vegas residency?
After Twain’s struggles, he returned to the spotlight in 2012 with a Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace. In 2017, it was released now, her first album since splitting from Lange. As shown in the documentary, Twain is working on her sixth album and even gave fans a preview of what’s to come, sharing her latest song, “Not Just A Girl,” in the doc. He has yet to share a release date for his sixth album. Twain also returned to Las Vegas for another two-year residency at Planet Hollywood. The show, Let’s Go, will run until September 2022.
How much is Shania Twain worth?
Between top-selling albums and lucrative tours and residencies, it’s no wonder the country pop star has amassed an impressive fortune. Various sources, including Celebrity Net Worth, estimate her net worth to be around $400 million. Beyond his endeavors in the entertainment industry, Twain also owns properties in Florida, New York, the Bahamas and New Zealand.