On one hand, Shania Twain deserves the criticism she gets for using her sexuality to sell country music. On the other hand, she is fine!. She is Canadian, her name means "On My Way" in Ojibwa, she is a petite 5'4" tall, and she's won scads of music awards (for arguably mediocre music) (oh, did I mention she's a
hottie crossover pop sensation?)
Her story is epic (on the scale of Coal Miner's Daughter, even.) She was born Eileen Regina Edwards on August 28, 1965. Her parents divorced when she was 2, and she changed her last name to Twain after her mother remarried. Her adoptive father had a hard time making ends meet, so as a child she was pushed into show business to supplement her family's income, waking up at midnight to perform in honky-tonks in the wee hours (when liquor couldn't be served, so minors were allowed in the bars). After high school, she moved to Toronto to work a day job and perform her music by night. She was 21 when her parents were both killed in a car accident, and she returned home to Timmins, Ontario to take care of her younger siblings.
She got a job singing and dancing in her hometown, and through hard work, talent and some connections, she got a Nashville scout to listen to a demo tape of hers. By the time she was offered a recording contract, her younger siblings were on their own, and she was free to move to Nashville to pursue her music career. She released her first album, Shania Twain, in 1993.
Her first album wasn't that successful, but she got a break when Nashville producer Robert "Mutt" Lange spotted a video of hers and fell in love with her talent. He became her manager and eventually, her husband, and the two worked closely on her next two LP's, The Woman in Me and Come On Over.
Over the past few years she has been content to stay in the background with her husband. According to one popular entertainment publication, she and "Mutt" have had some problems with their marriage, and sought religious counseling last December from a strange religious sect called Sant Mat, which advocates yoga, journaling, and abstinence from sex except for the purpose of procreation. As of March 2001, she is expecting her first child.