Shania Twain On Early Criticisms and Being Called ‘America’s Best Paid Lap Dancer in Nashville’

Even the most legendary artists, who appear to live the most glamour lives, have had their fair share of dark…


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

October 23, 2021


12:52 pm

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Shania Twain; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Even the most legendary artists, who appear to live the most glamour lives, have had their fair share of dark times as a result of the music industry. 

Country music icon, Shania Twain revealed that she received heavy judgment and degrading comments during her early career, when she debuted her Woman In Me album in 1995. She was even labeled as “America’s best paid lap dancer in Nashville.”

Photo Courtesy Shania Twain
Photo Courtesy Shania Twain

“I was criticized as an artist,” Twain said in an episode of Home Now Radio on Apple Music Hits. “I’m surprised I ever had any hits actually when I read them now. So for example, part of the quote from one of my reviews was, ‘She’s America’s best paid lap dancer in Nashville. She’s hot, but can she sing? Is Shania just a flash in the pan? The most famous midriff in Nashville.’ So yeah, I ended up having hits anyway. Very satisfying. ‘Who’s bed have your boots been under,’ release 1995. And what I just quoted were all quotes based on that first single from the Woman In Me album. I wrote the song. And I was a little bit hurt, I guess, at the harsh critics, not focusing on the music.”

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For a young, impressionable artist, putting her work out into the world and receiving such negative feedback can feel like a career-ending moment, but through it all, Twain has persevered. She listened to the fans that were lifting her up instead of the ones that were trying to tear her down. In doing so, she evolved into the strong, successful artist she is today. 

“The fans just wiped all of that hurt away and made the song one of my biggest hits,” Twain continued. “Thank you, fans.”

During the episode of Home Now Radio, Twain also discussed a similar situation with GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars and his 2010 hit single, “Grenade.”  

“The criticism was very high on this. It was quoted as being the ‘laziest songwriting, doesn’t get much lazier than simply listing things a boy does like jumping in front of a train, throw his hand on a blade, take a bullet through the brain. Just about any pointlessly morbid thought he could string together will do just fine. A few times through this song and you’ll be praying there’s another bullet left in that gun.’ Now I don’t want to beat up the critics because we can’t all get it right all the time. So at least from my side all is forgiven, but I’m really glad that in spite of that review, the Bruno Mars grenade song is a huge monster hit.”

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Luckily, those who chose to ignore the talent held by Twain and Mars, did not prevail in their ill intentions. Twain continues to share her iconic music with her loyal fans.

Shania Twain is the best-selling female artist in country music history.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.