In the 1990s, Shania Twain shook up the male-dominated country market in America and gave it a distinct pop note. On her sixth studio album “Queen Of Me”, the 57-year-old relies on the tried and tested, both musically and lyrically.

Raised in poor circumstances, Eilleen Regina Edwards was already singing in bars in her Canadian hometown at the age of eight. After her parents die in a car accident, she takes care of her younger siblings at the age of 22. Years later she gets her first record deal and adopts a stage name: Shania Twain.

The first three albums by the musician from 1993 not only made waves in the country music industry. In her lyrics and music videos, Twain embodies the image of a self-confident, independent woman – and has sold millions of records. Songs like “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” also became hits in Europe. There the albums are remixed in order to please the non-country audience as well.

Fatal tick bite

More pop, less country – thanks to this recipe for success, which years later also made Taylor Swift a megastar, Twain rode a wave of professional success. In her private life she is happy with her husband and producer Mutt Lange. Until 2003, when the horse fanatic was bitten by a tick while riding and suffered from the consequences of Lyme disease. “I thought I’d lost my voice forever and I’d never sing again,” Twain said in a 2022 Netflix documentary. At this stage her husband is cheating on her with her best friend. The singer files for divorce. A double setback. Only years later did she fight back, get her own show in Las Vegas and process the end of her marriage on her album “Now” in 2017.

The twelve songs on the new album “Queen Of Me” once again show the self-confident side of the crossover artist. “I’m a queen. I don’t need a king. So keep your ring,” the title song reads. Or in “Not Just A Girl”: “I will rule the world. I’m not just a girl.”

“I’m my boss”

“I’ve always been very clear and articulate about what I think and what my positions are,” says the five-time Grammy winner. “I am my own boss and I am responsible for what I think, say and do. I will not be beaten or bullied.”

Musically, Twain’s new album alternates between melancholic ballads (“The Hardest Stone”) and pop up-tempo numbers like “Pretty Liar” and “Inhale/Exhale Air”, which deals with her severe Covid illness. Not much can be heard from country music – really surprising and outstanding songs are missing.

After all the strokes of fate, the Canadian seems to be doing well again. With her second spouse, the Swiss businessman Frédéric Thiébaud, she lives mainly on Lake Geneva – together with several dogs and of course horses.

She leaves her alone for a few months from April when she goes on a big tour. In Europe, however, only dates in Great Britain and Ireland have been set (so far).