How Shania Twain Made Music History While Putting Motherhood First

In her new Netflix documentary Not Just a Girl, Shania Twain looked back on the making of her fourth studio album, released one year after she gave birth.

By Mike Vulpo Jul 26, 2022 10:52 PMTags
Watch: Shania Twain Plays "Tour Truths" With E!

In the eyes of Shania Twain, her greatest title will forever and for always be mom. 

On July 26, Netflix released the brand-new documentary Not Just a Girl, which details the singer's journey to becoming nicknamed the "Queen of Country Pop." But the film also sheds light on Shania's life as a mom to Eja Lange, now 20. 

While Shania was on the top of her music game after the release of her albums Come On Over and The Woman in Me, the arrival of her first child in 2001 with ex-husband Robert "Mutt" Lange changed the priorities in her life.

"I never wanted to be a mother that was absent and distracted by career," Shania said in the doc. "Career could never come first over my child."

When the opportunity came to record another album, Shania said she would take advantage of any free time to make music, including the hours after her son went to bed at night. "I would go into the studio and do vocals," she recalled. "I'd have about four hours once he was sleeping."

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

Little by little, Up! was perfected and released in November 2002. Fans embraced many of the songs, including "I'm Gonna Getcha Good" and "She's Not Just a Pretty Face." Shania believes the feel-good tracks kept her career soaring into new heights. 

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

"The intention was to stay very positive, hence the title Up!" she shared. "The goal was to write songs that would keep carrying me basically as an artist and it wouldn't all fall away." 

Lo and behold, Up! became Shania's third successive diamond album. The accomplishment proved to be history-making, as she is the only artist to have ever reached this achievement. 

While watching Not Just a Girl, fans are able to take a trip down memory lane as Shania looks back on her career and the moments that changed country music.

Featuring special guests like Kelsea Ballerini, Lionel Richie, Avril Lavigne, Diplo and Orville Peck, the project also celebrates Shania's biggest hits and the stories behind them. 

One standout moment is Shania's recollection of the big unveiling of "You're Still the One." According to the singer, releasing the ballad was a "big risk" because it was far different from her previous hits.

To Shania's delightful surprise, it turned out to be one of the biggest numbers of her career thus far. "It was a powerful song that people bonded to and reminisced to," she said. "I didn't realize how powerful and how attached people would become to the meaning of that song in their lives."

To hear more music memories from Shania, watch Not Just a Girl, streaming now on Netflix.

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