Shania Twain on ending her two-year L.V. run: I’m taking happy memories with me
By Robin Leach
December 11, 2014
Country superstar Shania Twain rides out of town this weekend after two successful years of residency shows at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace come to an end Saturday night. She landed here in 2012 in a thrilling horseback arrival that partly shut down the Strip. She departs ready to complete her first new album in a decade and resume touring.
It’s been a remarkable journey for the 49-year-old beauty who still reigns as the Queen of Country Pop. The five-time Grammy winner literally lost her voice and confidence when her first marriage collapsed when husband Robert “Mutt” Lange asked for a divorce, revealing his affair with her best friend Marie-Anne Thiebaud. Her husband, Frederic Thiebaud, went on to marry Shania.
She retired from performing as her voice weakened, affecting her singing and speech. Shania was treated for lesions on her vocal cords, and it was only with encouragement from Lionel Richie, Las Vegas Queen of Soul Gladys Knight and husband Frederic that she resumed singing, including her duet with Lionel on the “Endless Love” remake, and returned to the stage at the Colosseum in December 2012.
Back in 2011 after announcing the 120 shows at Caesars Palace, Shania told me: “Stage fright, domestic violence in the home as a child, my parents dying, not knowing what’s next, just all of these different stages of fear in my life,” she said. “I’ve just trapped my own voice, and now I’ve got to unwind all that. It’s been a healing year, but I am now in a very happy place.”
“I am genuinely excited about coming to Las Vegas to perform the show,” she told me. “My voice is stronger today than ever. My confidence is better than ever. Today really was very meaningful, a giant weight off my shoulders getting through the announcement — and talking with you now. I’ve climbed a huge mountain and reached the top. The whole experience I’ve been through has been cathartic. I had to go right to the bottom to get back to the top.”
Looking over her two years here, Shania told me in October, “It has been a great two years. It went by so fast. It’s coming to an end now, but I’ve had a wonderful experience. I do feel like I’ve made the most of it while I was here. There are many happy memories I’m taking with me. “
Shania started her Shania Kids Can project at Tom Williams Elementary School here. She endured a tough, impoverished childhood, and she wanted to ensure that disadvantaged kids didn’t have the same difficulties she faced.
“I promised myself when I was a little kid that I would make sure I didn’t have to live like that for the rest of my life and that I was going to do something about it for myself. The program has been developed completely based on what I’ve lived through. It’s very personalized for them and very specific in helping them build their confidence, make them feel like they belong and that they are never left out or isolated.”
In confirming plans to finish her eagerly awaited album and touring again for the first time in a decade, Shania told me: “The success here in Las Vegas has given me a confidence that I have not had in years. I really have been able to build up more courage and a lot more confidence in myself. I’m ready for more things now. There’s a whole new world there for me.”
On Friday night after the penultimate performance, Shania will host an after-party for her Shania Kids Can Foundation. She will talk about the success of the program and how she’ll ensure that it continues here even as she departs. Shania also has promised to personalize items that are won in the fundraising silent auction. Tickets are available online at SKCAfterparty-vegas.whindo.com.
On Saturday night in her glamorous Marc Bouwer costumes, she will sing one more time with her 13-piece band, three singers including her sister Carrie Ann, four dancers and her beloved horse for “Still the One.” Her show was the only one to ever feature a horse onstage for a solo number. I’ll join her at both events, and we’ll report the farewell celebrations Monday here at Vegas DeLuxe.
It will probably be a teary-eyed farewell, but as AEG head honcho John Meglen told me: “We’ve told her because of the great success we’ve all enjoyed with her being back onstage in Las Vegas that she can return any time she wants to. There will always be a place at Caesars Palace to welcome her back whenever she wants.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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