Shania Twain was experimenting with music while still in school. She played the trumpet in high school and even joined a cover band. With her success looming, this artist explained that her mother became “addicted” to her impending music stardom.
Here’s what she said about her early years as a musician in From This Moment On.
Shania Twain’s childhood was marked with ‘financial insecurity’
Before she was the “Queen of Country Pop,” Twain was living in Timmins, Ontario, with her mother, Sharon Morrison, and siblings. This singer did not have a relationship with her birth father.
She was adopted by her mother’s partner, Jerry Twain — an Ojibwa from the nearby Mattagami First Nation. In her memoir From This Moment On, Twain detailed the “financial insecurity” that overshadowed her childhood.
Shania Twain said her mother was ‘addicted’ to her potential music career
On particularly challenging days, Twain observed that her mother used her music career as a reason to get out of bed. Twain’s mother became “addicted” to the promise of her impending stardom — even if it made her husband angry.
“I believe that she did, in fact, live for my music during the times when she felt most defeated by life, on the days when the only reason she got out of bed was to get on the phone to find me places to sing,” she wrote in the same memoir.
The artist added that, “the only way my dad could stop her from spending on her habit — my career — at the expense of the rest of the family’s welfare was to rip the phone line right out of the wall.”
This “obsession” with Twain’s childhood career caused a wedge between her father and mother. The artist noted her father’s tendencies to remind her mother of her other children — neglected in an attempt to further Twain’s music. The attention made this young singer feel “guilty.”
“I didn’t want the grocery money, for example, being spent on anything to do with my career, and I wished my mother would stop her nonsense: the wishful thinking that it would pay off someday, that I was going to make it,” Twain added. “I wanted her to just be my mom, not my career manager.”
Shania Twain’s first album debuted after the death of her parents
In November 1987, Twain’s mother and stepfather both died in a car accident — just a few years after the singer graduated from high school. At that point, she was already pursuing music as a career, taking singing lessons and performing with a cover band. Still, this took an emotional toll on the artist.
It wasn’t until 1993 that Twain premiered her first full-length record — appropriately titled Shania Twain. In the years that followed, she released hits “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “You’re Still the One,” and “Man! I Feel like a Woman!”