Country’s top honor for a female artist goes to Canadian singer Shania Twain, who is the best-selling female country artist.
But her rise to stardom took some time. Twain, who was born Eileen Regina Edwards, grew up singing and performing around her hometown. After graduating high school, she toured Ontario with a cover band while taking singing lessons in Toronto.
She started getting attention for her singing chops, but her plans were derailed when her parents died in a car accident in 1987 and she moved back home to take care of her siblings.
Once her brothers and sisters were old enough to leave home, Twain put together a demo tape and eventually signed to Mercury Nashville. Her self-titled debut album, Shania Twain, arrived in 1993.
The attention she’d been getting from American audiences blossomed with the release of her 1995 follow-up The Woman in Me, which featured the hit single ‘Any Man of Mine’. The album has since been certified RIAA diamond.
Her next album 1997’s Come on Over landed at the number two spot on the Billboard 200, and becoming the best-selling album by a female country artist at the time. Both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association named her Entertainer of the Year in 1998.
Two more albums followed, 2002’s Up! and 2017’s Now. Twain has built on the popularity of her music and world tours with two Las Vegas residencies. Her home country has honored her in several ways. In 2011, she was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, while in 2018, the Canadian Country Music Association honored her with its Generation Award, awarded to an artist who has impacted country music in a major way.
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