From the CMT Artists of the Year Awards Red Carpet: Honoree Shania Twain on New Music
By Alison Abbey
October 20, 2016
Country fans will tune in tonight to watch the CMT Artists of the Year Awards, where Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line and Kelsea Ballerini will take the stage and take home trophies. But on the red carpet before Wednesday night’s taping of the show, there was one name on everyone’s lips: Shania.
The face of mid-90s through mid-00s country, Shania Twain was in attendance to accept the Artist of a Lifetime Award. Known for her glamorous videos, spunky lyrics and incredible stage presence, Twain has been relatively quiet since the conclusion of what was thought to be her farewell Rock This Country tour last fall. But rumors surfaced that the “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” singer was working on a new album, considering an overseas tour and a looking at a possible return to her residency in Las Vegas.
From Underwood, who presented Twain with her award, to newcomers Ballerini and pop singer Meghan Trainor, who performed a Shania tribute, everyone was gushing about the revolutionary entertainer, who changed the way the world heard—and saw—country music.
Even seasoned singer/actress Jill Scott, who joined Ballerini and Trainor in tribute, said she was anxious about performing for the mega-star. “The woman has some amazing songs—powerful woman songs,” she said. “Her videos were revolutionary; for fashion, for makeup. Her locations were awesome. She looks stunning [tonight]. So I’m a little daunted. I’m nervous.”
Twain, who reveled in the spotlight and unapologetically remained onstage for a longer acceptance speech than most award shows would allow, told the crowd she didn’t want to leave because “I am loving this moment.”
On the carpet, she shared some insights into her decision to come out of perceived retirement.
“I never said that I was going to stop recording,” Twain teased. “And there’s a lot of other countries that I have not toured yet, so I will finish that chapter, but the new music is imminent. I’m pretty much putting the icing on the cake and doing the final touches. This has been my project since the tour ended; it’s been my focus.”
But will this new album sound like classic Shania or serve as a sort of Shania 2.0? Twain says it’s a little of both.
“There’s a lot of variety. There might be more variety on this album than on any of my other albums,” she said. “There will be some surprises on there, and yeah, there are a couple things that are maybe more the classic ‘me’ of the past. I think it’s going to be very recognizable.”
Despite the variety, Twain says listeners can expect one constant: Her voice.
“I wrote all the songs, so there’s a continuity there, emotionally, even though the songs are all very different,” she said. “There’s a common thread in the emotion and in the voice. No matter what stylistically jumps around, the voice is what seems to tie it all together.”
Watch the CMT Artists of the Year Awards tonight at 9 p.m. ET.