August 28 ~  Free To Dream Shania Twain

"Find your self-esteem and be forever free to dream." ~ Shania Twain

Shania Twain

Country singer Shania Twain (1965-), free to dream and change the world with her talent, was born Eileen Regina Edwards on this day in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

"My dream as a child was to be Stevie Wonder's backup singer. That's all I wanted to be," she said about her early aspirations.

A rags-to-riches story, she grew up impoverished. "I often went to bed hungry. Food, for me is a luxury."

Losing both parents in an auto accident, she became "sister-mom" at 21 to her three younger siblings.

"When you go through something as drastic and traumatic as that, you realize you have nothing to lose in life."

Ready for any challenge, in 1991 she changed her name to Shania ("on my way" in Ojibwa, the American Indian dialect of her adopted father), then headed for Nashville. Catchy songs and memorable videos helped sell her music, an irresistable blend of pop-country with rock.

Her records busted the charts. By the time she turned 50 in 2015, Twain had sold more than 75 million albums worldwide, with 17 top 10 singles.

Billboard writer Chet Flippo explained that before Twain came along, "there was no job description for what she is - a pop femme fatale in country... She's playing by her own rules. And she's changing the audience."

And Twain is also changing the lives of children. Her foundation, Shania Kids Can!, provides at-risk children "club house" havens with "academic, extra-curricular, therapeutic and nutritional support."

"These students need to know that they are understood and that they CAN overcome the disadvantages in their personal lives," she said, knowing first hand what poverty can do to a child.

"I know these kids CAN do it, and we CAN help them."

country musicCelebrate your freedom to dream.