Saturday, January 30, 2016

Biography of SHANIA TWAIN

LoveWorks Adult StoreSummerFest - Carencro, Louisiana


Thanks Shania!  It was great to meet you in Louisiana!  I hope you enjoyed our state and our food.  

It would be hard to imagine two more fundamentally different worlds than those in which Shania Twain has lived. Shania (shu-NYE-uh) spent much of her late teens and early 20's alternating between leading a 13-man forest crew deep in Canada's northern woods, where she grew up, and entertaining in some of the most glamorous resorts and night spots of the Toronto region. "The funny thing is," she says, "when I'm in the music world, people can't believe that I've ever lived such a rustic life, and people from back home for the most part don't know about the other life I've had - I've never talked about it. They're going to be really shocked when they see this album," she says with a laugh.

Shania Twain at LoveWorks SummerFest with the Carnival Rides in the Background

Can you believe?  $2 to listen to Shania Sing!
Community sponsored LoveWorks' SummerFest

The album, her Mercury Nashville debut, introduces Shania as a performer of rare passion and versatility. Its sounds range from the rich, bluesy feel of "You Got A Hold On Me," through the pop-tinged "Crime Of The Century" to "God Ain't Gonna Get You For That," a lively, straight-ahead   country two-step she wrote with Nashville songwriter Kent Robbins.

Shania getting up close and personal with her fans!

"The album is very diverse," she says, "but all of it is me. I've always sung country, but it didn't take me long as a teenager to begin exploring different kinds of music. I had a lot of classical vocal lessons that let me realize the range I had and fun I could have with my voice, so I explored everything from rock and R&B to Christian music, and I tried to bring all those elements into my writing as that developed."

One of the best pictures (I think) of Shania

The result is an impressively eclectic mix of influences Shania makes unequivocally her own in a package that resonates with confidence and a mature sense of style.

Those are the very elements that color Shania's performances as well - performances she began in her native Timmins, Ontario, at the age of three, when her mother recognized the youngster's natural performing abilities.

"She would put me up on restaurant counters, where I'd sing along with the jukebox for the people on the stools," she says. "That was my first stage." By the time she was eight, she had sung in talent contests, at carnivals and on television, and her success had become something the entire family would strive for.

"I had great parents and a loving family," she says, and   they always pushed for my career. It was kind of a dream for them too, to have me be successful." The family, which was poor even by rural Canadian standards, often made great sacrifices for Shania's music, driving, for instance, 500 miles to Toronto for vocal and music lessons when they had the money.

"I started singing professionally when I was about ten. My mother would take me to the occasional club and I'd get up and sing." By high school, Shania was singing regularly in bands, as often as four nights a week, something very few people were aware of. "They never knew that side of me," she says.

"I've always been very quiet about myself that way. Even my schoolmates never knew I was a singer. It was just something I did for myself, something that I was very private about. When I meet people, unless they ask, I still don't tell them that I'm a singer."
"A friend of mine in high school asked me once, 'Is it true that you play in a band at night, and that you went to do the Tommy Hunter show (a major talk/variety show) in Toronto?' I said, 'Yes, it's true.' It was like I had to make this confession," she says, laughing. "I said, 'I've got to tell you, I'm a singer,' and she said, 'Well, I just don't believe you. I've known you all this time, and I don't   believe you're a singer.'"

After high school, Shania left home to pursue music full time, performing in settings that ranged from singing with bands in night clubs to opening for Bernadette Peters with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In the summers, she worked with the forest crews, planting trees hundreds of miles from the barest creature comforts. "From spring though fall I'd work with my father in the bush," she says. "I was foreman with a 13-man crew, many of whom where Indians.   [Shania's father was Ojibway, and 'Shania' is an Ojibway name].

I'd run the crew and we'd plant millions of trees though the summer. We'd get up between 4 and 6 in the morning, live on beans, bread and tea, walk up to an hour to the site, and work there all day with no shelter in rain, snow or sunshine, in the middle of the bush, hours from civilization. I did that for five years. It was very hard work, but I loved it.

Then, after a summer of northern exposure, from the treacherous June blackflies to an August hailstorm, I'd go back to Toronto and slip into my sequined gown again. I come from two completely different worlds, and I fit comfortably in both. To this day, though," she adds with a laugh, "I still bathe with a cup."

When Shania was 21, her parents were killed in an automobile accident, and she was faced with both the tragic loss and the responsibility of her younger siblings. "That was a real turning point in my life and career," she says. "I had an instant family, and I had to find a singing job that would keep my stabilized."

She found it at the Deerhurst resort in northern Ontario, where she became the headline vocalist in a variety of musical productions. "That's where my biggest development as a performer really took place," She says. "First, I was able to overcome a lot of the inhibitions I had left about performing. It's easy to get up and sing in a country bar, where it's just a party, but when you're in front of a lot of people and you're essentially on a pedestal, and everyone stops to listen, you've got to start performing now.

Second, I got to work with some great professionals and learn a lot about staging, choreography and production. I got a really good taste of what I'm heading into now." After many years as a performer, she decided to pursue a recording career in country music, the music she had begun singing as a child.

She looked for help to her longtime friend Mary Bailey, who had herself been an artist and who became her manager. Shania left the grueling pace of the resort to concentrate on putting together her own project while Bailey put her in touch with Nashville attorney Dick  Frank in 1991.

That led to Shania's recording a demo tape in Nashville with producer/songwriter Norro Wilson and Mercury Nashville's Manager of A&R, Buddy Cannon. Cannon took the tape to Mercury Senior Vice President of Creative Harold Shedd, who quickly signed Shania to a recording contract.

Co-produced by Wilson and Shedd, Shania Twain, showcases the young singer's impressive abilities in a number of settings. "Every song on the album is very different," she says. "'What Made You Say That' is light and poppy, just very fun and musical, while 'Got A Hold On Me' is a funky, down-and- dirty thing I can really extend myself on. 'There Goes The Neighborhood' is a killer ballad we found about how the neighborhood is just not the same any more when people start getting divorced, and the houses are getting sold, and 'Forget Me' is a sassy, R&B kind of song.

28 year old Shania Twain Entertaining the Crowds!

There's going to be a song for everybody on this album." All these diverse elements are held together by Shania's rich, expressive voice and by her long-standing passion for singing. "Music," she says, "allows us to feel every emotion that exists in our brains and souls, to experience all those feelings we need to express. I listen to a variety of music for that reason, because every kind of music brings out a different thing.

Two of my biggest influences have been Gladys Knight and Karen Carpenter, for different reasons, of course. If you only admire one kind of singer, you probably won't develop much outside of that range." "As an entertainer, you have a way to get yourself across to people. They get to relate to you and feel what you're feeling.
It's great to be able to make people feel good, or to make them feel sad, when that's what the music is doing to you. That's when it's really working." It comes as no surprise, then, that Shania's show is as dynamic and complex as she is. "I'm a pretty emotional person, and a pretty dynamic person," she says. "I can be serious and fun all at the same time, and there's an emotional roller coaster that's part of the show, because that's where the songs take me."
Shania Twain's Hot Album!

The fact that Shania's parents aren't able to see the dream they shared with her coming to fruition gives her career a special poignancy. "As the people who know me learn about what's happening, they're very proud of me, but the fact that the people who really know, the ones who would drive me 500 miles to a vocal lesson, are not even here, gives me a lot of determination to take it as far as it can go.

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