by Maxine Trottier
48 pages; Ages 6 to 9
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
6" X 9"
About the Book
Read all about the fascinating lives of famous and talented Canadians. Whether it's the music of Shania Twain or the movies
of Mike Myers you like, you'll love to hear how they overcame hardship and became the stars they are today.
During high school Eilleen had a job at McDonald's. She also sang with a rock band called Longshot. In the summers she worked with her father and a reforestation crew in the bush, using an axe and a chainsaw. When she graduated from Timmins High and Vocational School, she moved to Toronto and worked as a secretary. But she didn't give up on music, moving from band to band. She was still struggling, hoping for a chance, when a telephone call came from her older sister. Their parents had been killed when their truck collided head on with a logging truck.
Since her sister was married, 21-year-old Eilleen took on the responsibility of raising her three younger siblings, Carrie-Ann, Mark and Darryl. She got a job as a revue singer at Deerhurst Resort near Huntsville, Ontario. She bought a truck, rented a house with no running water and moved her family in.
Once her siblings were grown and on their own, Eilleen was again able to focus on her goal of a musical career. She put together a demo tape of her songs, and in 1991, Mercury Nashville gave her a $20,000 advance and signed her to a contract. They wanted her to change her name. Eilleen sounded right, but she was told Twain had to go. Instead she decided to keep her last name and to adopt the stage name Shania. Shania Twain became the name of her first album. She was on her way, but she was not yet in the fast lane.