One of the highest-selling music artists in history, this iconic female superstar has become one of the longtime favorites in country and pop music – due to the tremendous success of her crossover hits and unforgettable albums in both genres.
While you may have followed her career for all of these years, there is likely a lot you don’t know about this somewhat mysterious icon and we are here to highlight the top 7 things you never knew about Shania Twain!
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1. Her Real Name ISN’T Shania
Born as Eileen Regina Edwards, this Canadian music phenomenon later changed her name to Shania after she had been performing for a while (and due to pressure from record labels).
Alright, you may have known that little tidbit…but, did you know that one of her first albums is actually sold under her real name?
She chose Shania because it pays tribute to her childhood growing up in the Ojibwa culture and is derived from the origins of Ojibwe ancestry.
2. She Was Her Sibling’s Guardian After Her Parents Died
At just 22-years-old, Twain lost her mother and step-father in a terrible car accident, leaving their three younger children as orphans.
After suffering through a really rough childhood, Shania was determined to ensure that her siblings did not have to endure any more heartache than the family already had and became their legal guardian – later moving them to a resort town so she could support them better with a singing job at one of the resorts.
It was her manager in that town that got her into a big record contract just a few years later.
3. She Turned Down An Offer To Appear On ‘Baywatch’
Rising to stardom in the early ’90s, she was offered a spot to don one of those famously stunning red bathing suits and jog down the beach saving lives alongside David Hasslehoff.
The producers knew she could pull off the iconic red swimsuit no problem, and reached out with the offer of a guest spot on the series, but Shania wanted different things for her career.
Unfortunately, no one will ever know what amazing things a Shania-infused Baywatch series could have accomplished.
4. The Strange Way She Met Her 2nd Husband
After making the heartbreaking discovery that her first husband (of 14 years) Robert John “Mutt” Lange had been cheating on her with a close friend and personal assistant, Marie-Anne Thiebaud, Shania and Lange filed for divorce.
In December 2010, it was announced that Shania was engaged to her new boyfriend. Who was this mystery fellow? Well, none other than Marie-Anne’s ex-husband, Frederic Thiebaud!
Sounds like Shania got the ultimate revenge.
5. She Enjoys Manual Labor And Being “Rugged”
Working for her father’s reforestation business in the wilderness of Canada, Shania reveals in her biography, Shania Twain: The Biography, that she was really fond of the isolation and detachment from modern life.
“I loved the feeling of being stranded,” she writes. “I’m not afraid of being in my own environment, being physical, working hard. I was very strong, I walked miles and miles every day and carried heavy loads of trees.”
But it wasn’t just the hard work and isolation that drew her in. The ruggedness of the lifestyle and connection to nature was also very appealing for the music star.
“You can’t shampoo, use soap or deodorant,or makeup, nothing with any scent; you have to bathe and rinse your clothes in the lake. It was a very rugged existence, but I was very creative and I would sit alone in the forest with my dog and a guitar and would just write songs.”
6. Sean Penn Invested In Her Career
Throughout a very candid and revealing section of her 2011 memoir, Shania opened up about a time early in her career when a surprising source helped her out.
Sean Penn reached out to the rising star about directing her video for “Dance With the One That Brought You” and ended up giving Shania $100 to help out.
The song didn’t go very far, but she caught a big break a couple years later when she released “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under” and she admits that she “was embarrassed to receive a handout like that”.
7. Astronauts Used Her Music For An Alarm Clock
In 2007 fellow Canadian and space-faring astronaut Dave Williams used Shania’s hit song “Up!” to wake him up aboard the International Space Station.
Additionally, just a few years prior in 2001, the crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis was awoken by her hit song “Honey, I’m Home”!