Wearing a gold lamé suit, Shania Twain previewed her new Rock This Countryexhibit at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Tuesday (June 27). The event attracted several members of the local music community including Kelsea Ballerini.
Opening Friday and running through July 15, 2018, the display highlights Twain’s rise to prominence with outfits and memorabilia chronicling her career. With more than 90 million albums sold worldwide and U.S. sales topping 35 million, she remains the top-selling female country artist of all time.
When she delivered her remarks at the Hall of Fame rotunda, her first supporters in Nashville were top of mind. She recalled how Buddy Cannon, Harold Shedd and the late songwriter-producer Norro Wilson were there for her as a Canadian transplant who was new to Music Row.
“I had no parents to call to say, ‘It’s not working out,’ or ‘Can you send a bit of money?’” she said. “I had no one to fall back on. And my new family was the future and whatever I made of that future. And my beginnings were humble and very difficult, but they prepared me for standing alone.”
She was quick to add that she didn’t achieve fame and recognition without a solid team of people around her.
“By standing alone, I humbly say that it wasn’t because I got here by myself,” she said. “It’s just because I had to find a stronger person within both to stand alone in the sense that nobody was going to make the decisions for me — mostly because I didn’t want them to. And I knew that unless I was going to be strong and stand alone, that they would make those decisions for me, and I would never be what I wanted to be.”
She also said she was “very lucky” to have collaborated with her ex-husband Robert “Mutt” Lange through her 2002 album Up!
“He gave me all kinds of freedom and respected my opinions,” she said. “And I grew in that period. But when that fell away, I was alone again and I didn’t know where to begin. … So I went back to square one and figured finding myself alone wasn’t such a bad thing. And maybe it was an opportunity to reacquaint myself with independence and test that independence and get back in touch with where I started, which was making my own way in life.”
She added that with her new album Now, arriving Sept. 29, she looks forward to enjoying the present and reestablishing her relationship with her fans.
“I didn’t really appreciate the fans the way I do now,” she said. “When I’m in concert, I see them as a lifeline and as people I understand and the people that I write the music for. So on this new album Now, I’m not rushing on to the future. I’m not running away from the past. I’m not apologizing for the past. I’m acknowledging the crappy times and saying, ‘I wouldn’t be here without them.’