How Shania Twain Rose to
Success Despite A Troubled Past
And Made $350 Million

Photo by Sara Collaton / CC BY 2.0

Without a doubt, Shania Twain has one of the most beautiful faces in the industry today. But it's not just her looks that has made people clamoring for her all these years, it's her voice, and she's got 27 BMI and 5 Grammy awards to prove it. 

Sometimes being referred to as the Queen of Country Pop, Twain has a net worth of over $350 million, and she's got her talent and love for singing to thank for that. 

Little Eilleen

Before there was Shania Twain, there was Eilleen Regina Edwards born in Windsor, Ontario on August 28, 1965. She had little memory of her real father. She was only 2 years old when her parents got divorced.

Her mother, Sharon, moved her and her 2 other sisters to Timmins, where she got married again to Jerry Twain. They had a son together, and shortly after that, he adopted all Sharon's girls to change their last name from Edwards to Twain. 

A Troubled Home

Her childhood was far from happy though, as her mother and stepfather would always have violent fights in front of the children. There was little food to eat, and there was little money to go around. She was afraid to report their situation to the authorities , instead, she learned to be efficient out in the woods. She learned how to hunt for food and chop wood. 

Young Music

Shania, who was still being called Eilleen at that time, started writing songs at the young age of 10. She also started singing in bars, earning around $20 for the few hours she'd sing at night. It was her way of helping make ends meet in their household, and it helped a lot. 

It was also in the quiet of nature, that her love for music grew. She would write her own songs, play guitar with only her dog for company, then head back home or work, carrying trees for firewood and what-not.

Eilleen also became a part of a band called “Long Shot” but after graduating from High School, she decided to  take her music more seriously and toured around Ontario with the 'Flirt' band. She would clean the house of her voice coach in exchange for voice lessons, as proof that she was serious in her craft.

Tragic Accident

However, her mother and stepfather died in a terrible car accident which left her no choice but to take care of her 3 other siblings as she was the eldest. 

She sang at a local resort and got her big break when in 1993 she went to Nashville to record her debut album. It was around this time that she changed her name to Shania, which meant “I'm on my way” in Ojibway Tribe language, a native American tribe. 

Rise to Stardom

The same year, she married Robert Lange, a music producer from South Africa. 2 years later, she released her second album which sold over twelve million copies. After another 2 years, Shania released her 3rd album which again became an international hit selling 17 million copies. 

Crashing to the Ground

The years went by and Shania made 3 more albums after that. She was at the peak of her success but in 2008, something unexpected happened. Shania discovered her husband of 14 years was having an affair with her friend, and she was devastated. That made her world come crashing down. She lost her faith in herself, in her music and even lost her voice for a time. 

Rising From The Ashes

2 years later, in a bizarre twist of fate, she found love again from no other than the former husband of her friend, the same friend who had an affair with her ex-husband, Lange. Weird right?

But all's fair in love and war and until now, they are still together. Shania Twain is back in her form and still doing what she loves the most: Making music.

Lessons From The Life of Shania Twain

There's no doubt about it, Shania Twain is a star. She has earned her keep, a woman of admirable strength and talent. 

  • So be like Shania. Don't let your dark past get in the way of what you're destined to become.
  • Never give up. No matter how hard it gets, no matter how you've been betrayed, use it as your strength.
  • Love what you do, embrace it with passion, and it will come back to you tenfold.

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