She’s still the one! Shania Twain released her first studio album in 1993 — and she’s been topping the charts ever since.
Born Eilleen Regina Edwards in 1965, the “Any Man of Mine” songstress got her start by singing in a cover band after graduating high school in her home province of Ontario, Canada. In 1987, however, she put her touring dreams on hold to move home and care for her siblings following the death of her mother and stepfather in a car crash.
After working as a singer at a local resort, Twain landed her first record deal, and in April 1993, she released her self-titled debut album. The record didn’t reach the commercial heights of her later work, but her music caught the attention of some country fans — and one producer in particular.
Robert John “Mutt” Lange offered to produce for the “You Win My Love” singer after hearing some of her music, and the duo began work on Twain’s second album, The Woman in Me, while also sparking a romance. They tied the knot in December 1993 and later welcomed a son, Eja, in August 2001.
Lange — known for his work with rock artists including AC/DC and Foreigner — produced Twain’s third and fourth albums as well, but the “Giddy Up!” singer has always made it clear that he wasn’t the sole architect of her image.
“As a producer, he is very much a director as well; very hands-on and very talented,” the Grammy winner told The Guardian in 2018, nearly a decade after her divorce from Lange. “So, he was driving the direction of the sound. He didn’t drive the direction of my voice and never tried to change me.”
Twain seemed unstoppable in the late 1990s and early 2000s. When she was bitten by a tick in 2003, however, the course of her career changed forever. She contracted Lyme disease from the bite, but it took some time for her to receive a diagnosis.
“My symptoms were quite scary because before I was diagnosed, I was on stage very dizzy,” she recalled in her 2022 documentary, Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl. “I was losing my balance. I was afraid I was gonna fall off the stage, and the stage is quite high.”
The Broad City alum estimated that it took seven years for doctors to determine how the disease affected her vocal cords. Twain underwent open-throat surgery so that she could sing again, but she still hears a difference in her voice.
“My speaking voice is definitely the biggest effort. Sometimes I get a bit raspy … singing is actually easier,” she said during an August 2020 interview on the U.K. talk show Loose Women. “I have more power when I’m singing now. I have more character, I find. I enjoy singing again. Speaking is the more difficult challenge for me than singing, which [is] OK, I’ll take that!”
Keep scrolling for a look back at Twain’s life and career: