Born Eileen Edwards, her father left when she was two, and she was adopted by her stepfather, an Ojibway Indian named Jerry Twain, when she was 4. At age 25 she took the name "Shania," which means "I'm on my way" in his language.
Shania was raised in the Ojibway culture, but her biological father was part Cree.
Her parents died in a car accident in 1987 when Shania was 22. She helped raise her sisters and two brothers, earning money by singing at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario.
She was just the second solo female artist (after Whitney Houston) with two albums that sold over 10 million copies each: The Woman in Me and Come on Over. She was the first to do it with back-to-back releases.
From 1994-2010, she was married to the record producer Mutt Lange, who in addition to Twain has worked with many big acts, including AC/DC, The Cars, and Def Leppard. For a time, they lived in a castle in Switzerland.
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She crossed over to mainstream pop in the 1990s. Her 1997 album Come On Over
is the biggest selling country album and the best selling solo-female of all time, selling over 36 million copies.
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In 2005, Shania bought a high-country ranch in Wanaka, New Zealand. The property has spectacular mountain and lake views and isn't too far away from the tourist resort of Queenstown.
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She has described herself as a very private person and gets stage fright. In her book From This Moment On, she reveals that she once wet her pants in school while singing, and covered it up by spilling a glass of water.
Her family was very poor when she was young. They often had nothing to eat but what they called "goulash," which was boiled milk on dry bread topped with brown sugar.
Shania Twain offered surprising revelations in her book From This Moment On about her painful childhood, including the domestic violence she witnessed in her own home. "It was a very unstable environment, off and on," she recalled. "You never really knew what to expect next ... It keeps you on your toes and worried about what's around the next corner. It makes you feel fragile."
Twain divorced her husband of 14 years, Robert "Mutt" Lange, after he had an alleged affair with one of her closest friends, Marie-Anne Thiébaud, who was also a secretary at the couple's Switzerland chateau. But in a twist of fate, Shania found love with the other jilted party in the affair: Marie-Anne's ex-husband, Swiss Nestle executive Frédéric Thiébaud. Shania and Frédéric were married in a beach-side, sunset ceremony in Rincon, Puerto Rico on New Year's Day 2011.
Shania Twain was announced on May 31, 2013 as the winner of the SMItty Award for Most Innovative Use of Scent Marketing. The prize is awarded to a brand owner who has implemented an outstanding use of scent in a way that is new and unexpected. During her headlining Las Vegas Show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Twain infuses the air throughout the audience with her own fragrance, Still the One Day and Night. It slowly transitions into a saloon scent and then into the smell of a campfire.
Shania Twain performed 105 shows for a total of 337,500 people during her two-year run at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas between December 2012 and December 2014.
She started having problems with her voice around the time she was going through her divorce with Lange. In 2011, she was diagnosed with dysphonia, a disorder that affects the vocal cords. After a long rehab, she was able to perform again in 2012, when she started a residency in Las Vegas.
Despite being less-than-average height, Shania Twain was a highly accomplished basketball player in her younger days. She told The Daily Mail's Weekend magazine: "I'm only 5 feet 4 inches so at high school I was too short to take the ball to the basket - I got smothered - but became really good at scoring from far out."