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Shania Twain’s Life In Canada Before Fame Was Anything But Easy

She has conquered many challenges!

Though she shines on stage as a worldwide superstar, the country singer reportedly faced multiple hardships growing up. Born in Windsor and raised in Timmins, Shania Twain's Canadian childhood was filled with challenges. She and her family struggled financially before her singing career took off. 

Twain was born in August 1965 with the birth name Eilleen Regina Edwards. She's the oldest of four younger siblings of a blended family including two biological sisters. 

According to Biography, the singer's parents divorced when she was a young girl. Her mother Sharon remarried a man named Jerry Twain, and Shania's given name changed to Eilleen Twain.   

The small town of Timmins, Ontario was where Twain and her family called home but were very poor and "often struggled to make ends meet." Biography claims that her stepfather "had a violent streak" and would "attack Sharon on more than one occasion."

Twain grew up listening to country music and developed a passion for singing at a young age. The Canadian Encyclopedia wrote that she would sing in "her school choir, at community centres, senior citizens' homes and late nights at a local bar once alcohol was no longer served." 

When she was 18 years old, the aspiring singer tried to find musical work in Toronto. But that wasn't enough to support her as Biography noted that she picked up work at places like McDonald's to make ends meet.

The Canadian Encyclopedia claims that in November 1987, Sharon and Jerry "were killed in a car accident near Wawa, Ontario, when they were hit head-on by a logging truck." Following the tragedy, 22-year-old Twain became the legal guardian of her younger brothers, one of whom Biography noted was the child of her mother and stepfather. Her second brother was Jerry's nephew who he and Sharon adopted together. 

For the next three years, the "Up!" singer supported her brothers with help from jobs she had at "a Vegas-style revue” and in a resort near Huntsville, Ontario as a “solo lounge act”.

In 1990, The Canadian Encyclopedia claims that Twain was discovered by a Nashville music attorney named Dick Frank with help from her manager Mary Bailey who she met in 1978. However, the record label wasn't a fan of the name Eilleen, so she changed her artist name to Shania which is "an Ojibwe word that means 'I’m on my way.'" She kept her adoptive father's last name to honour him and his Ojibwe heritage. 

Twain's first self-titled album was released in April 1993. Since then she's had four more albums with the most recent one called Now in September 2017. 

Though her childhood was full of battles, her adulthood has also met some tricky matches. 

In 2004, the singer contracted Lyme disease which put her musical career on hold for a while. The disease also led to her developing dysphonia which affected her vocal cords. She consequently went on a hiatus until 2011 when she returned back with a single and a Las Vegas residency. 

Biography claims that during that time in 2008, Twain's husband Robert John "Mutt" Lange revealed that he had been cheating on her with their close friend Marie-Anne Thiébaud. Twain married the South African record producer and songwriter in 1993, and the divorce was finalized in 2010. They share a son together named Eja D'Angelo Lange. 

Shortly after, Twain found love in Marie-Anne's ex-husband Frédéric Thiébaud in a "beautifully twisted" turn of events as Twain told AARP The Magazine. Twain and Frédéric married in 2011.

Right now, Twain is on a Las Vegas residency called Let's Go! which began in December 2019 and will run until June 2020 as reported by People

In her off time, the country singer shares a home with her husband and their two dogs in Switzerland.