Man, I Feel Like a Woman!

Shania Twain:  Man, I Feel Like a Woman!

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

artist:  Shania Twain

songwriters:  Shania Twain and Robert John "Mutt" Lange

date released:  1999 by Shania Twain 

If there is any truth to the old adage that hardship builds character, Shania Twain would be a brilliant example of it.  Eileen Regina Edwards, better known as Shania Twain, was born in Windsor, Ontario, in 1965.  When Eileen was two years old, her parents divorced. Her mother moved her two daughters to Timmins, Ontario, where she married a First Nations Cree, Jerry Twain. Twain adopted the two girls legally changing their names to Twain.

Blending into a family of five children, Shania Twain's hardships continued.  The Twain family had a limited income, so there were constant food shortages.  In addition to chopping firewood and hunting game, Mrs. Twain had to drive the family almost 700 kilometers to Toronto to get assistance from a homeless shelter.

At a young age, Shania Twain began supplementing the family income by working at McDonald's and singing in local bars and nightclubs.  Although she hated the smoky and alcohol-fueled venues, her passion for music and performing propelled her forward.  She credits her early hardships for preparing her for the trials of life as a professional musician.

Twain began songwriting at the age of ten.  Described by classmates as quiet and reclusive, she derived comfort by working creatively with words and weaving a songs from them.  As she grew older, she began to work in the woods with other Cree and Ojibwa workers in her father's reforestation business.  During breaks, Shania could be found in solitary reverie deep in the woods with her guitar, her dog, and her songs.

Twain's talent was discovered early.  At thirteen, she was selected to perform on CBC's Tommy Hunter Show.  From there, a string of teenage bands were formed where she sang lead vocals.  With her last band, she toured the province of Ontario landing in Toronto where a local disc jockey spotted her and wrote an article about her powerful voice in a country music magazine.  He took her to Nashville, the capital of country music.  It wasn't long before Shania Twain was "on her way", the English translation for the term, "Shania".

In Nashville, she met a songwriter-producer whom she later married, Robert John "Mutt" Lange.  They produced her second and third albums containing the hit singles, "From This Moment On" and "Man, I Feel Like a Woman".  There was no returning to the woods after that.

Her third album, "Come On Over," went skyrocketing up the country music charts selling 34 million copies internationally.  Over the next two years, it won 4 Grammy Awards and multiple Juno Awards.

During her career, more award-winning music was produced by the team of Twain and Lange. Her fame took her to U.S. television appearances where she performed on music shows and opened national sports events.  Among her many charitable activities, Shania Twain will be proudly carrying the 2010 Winter Olympic torch for Canada when it travels through Timmins, Ontario, in January 2010.

Shania Twain's music has brought her many awards and honours that cannot all be listed in this short space:  39 BMI Awards for her songwriting, 26 Country Music Awards, 12 Juno Awards, 5 American Music Awards, 5 Grammy Awards and many other minor but important honours.  On November 18, 2005, she was invested into the Canadian Order of Canada.