Celebrity Portrait

Taking Back the Reins

Photograph by Mark Abrahams

Photograph by Mark Abrahams

Shania Twain is pouring her heart into her new Las Vegas show. “It’s very personalized,” the country crooner explains of her tech-heavy Caesars Palace show, Shania: Still the One. “It follows the course of my own life, my own personality, but with the spine of the show being the songs.”

So, yes, expect Twain to sing her chart-topping songs, “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “Any Man of Mine,” among others, when she steps onstage at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Twain did not write any new songs for the 90-minute show, but as one of the top-selling country-music artists of all time, with eight No. 1 hits, she has plenty in her upbeat oeuvre to choose from. “Each song has taken me through different stages of my career and given me a very diverse place to work from with this show,” Twain says. “I have songs with more traditional country aspects and then I’ve got [songs] with more of a rock edge. [The show] has the songs that everybody is going to expect to hear.”

One Woman’s Journey

While Shania was out of the spotlight for several years—due in large part to her battle to overcome the vocal condition dysphonia, coupled with a well-publicized scandal in her divorce from husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange—her return has been strong and quite personal. She writes about it in her memoir, From This Moment On; it also comes up in a docu-series on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network), Why Not? with Shania Twain.

Her first official foray back into the music biz, however, came at the request of Lionel Richie, who asked the songstress to collaborate with him on “Endless Love” for his album, Tuskegee. The performance was a countrified remake of Richie’s famous duet with Diana Ross, and helped Twain gain back her confidence.

“I was so nervous about that,” Twain admits. “I hadn’t recorded in a long time. The pressure of taking on a challenge like that was just a bit overwhelming for me. I was probably in an internal meltdown until I got to the point where we were already into it and it was too late to back down. I stepped out of my comfort zone and forced myself to do things that were scary, but that I knew were productive. The whole journey was really just to find my voice again.”

Twain convinced Richie to record “Endless Love” at her home in the Bahamas, where she was rehearsing for Shania: Still the One. Clearly, the Bahamas is a comforting destination for the Canadian, who once hailed from the wilds of northern Ontario. In fact, she says she will be “commuting” between the Bahamas and Las Vegas for the foreseeable future. Her new husband, Frédéric Thiébaud, and her son, Eja, 11, will periodically join her in Vegas, but Twain says Eja will remain in school in the Bahamas.

“I want to make sure that my son has stability,” Twain says. “When I decided to go back and dedicate myself to work again, I didn’t want to compromise his life and turn him into a road kid. We are able to balance our personal and professional life without much disruption. Vegas is ideal for me at this time in my life because I’m not on the road and traveling every night. So, I’m going from vacation to vacation through this whole process—enjoying the beaches and then going to Vegas and enjoying all the excitement there.”

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