Point: Of Course Shania Twain Belongs in the Country Music Hall of Fame!
Since 2013, Shania Twain has been eligible for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, in the Modern Era category. It’s hard to argue that she deserves the honor any more than Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Milsap, the Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis and Alan Jackson — the Modern Era inductees in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively — but there’s no question, Twain is a future Country Music Hall of Famer.
True, Twain’s time as one of country music’s leading superstars in the 1990s and early 2000s was relatively brief: She released her first album in ’93 and her last to date in ’02, and it wasn’t until 1995 that her star really started rising. And although she’s released both a hits album and a live album since then, and has a new studio album on the way, Twain mostly stayed away from the spotlight between the end of her Up! Tour in 2004 and the start of her Las Vegas residency in 2012.
In other words, Twain’s hiatus and her tenure as a hot country act lasted about the same amount of time. Rather than it being a strike against her, though, that’s exactly what makes Twain a leading candidate for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame: She managed to accomplish an incredible amount and leave a major mark on the genre in a pretty short amount of time (10 or so years) and with a smaller number of albums (only four) than most Hall of Fame inductees.
Shania Twain Through the Years
Despite her lack of new music in recent years, Twain’s songs remain among country music’s most quintessential — in playlists, at karaoke night, in fellow artists’ setlists as covers — and plenty of acts who came up after her (including at least one pop star) count Twain among their influences. Her most recent album was a decade-plus old when she began her two-year Vegas stint and her 2015 Rock This Country Tour, yet both were incredibly popular. In late 2016, all of Twain’s albums were released on vinyl, and fans remain rabid for some new songs, despite years of waiting.
By the numbers, too, Twain is a Country Music Hall of Fame shoo-in. The Woman in Me, Come on Over and Up! are all No. 1 and diamond-certified albums, and her Greatest Hits album is also a No. 1 and multi-platinum project. Twain’s live album peaked at No. 2 on the charts; even her self-titled first album, which peaked at No. 67 on the country charts, has gone platinum. Twain has six gold-certified singles and one multi-platinum single, seven No. 1 hits and nine additional Top 10 singles.
"Shania Twain’s hiatus and her tenure as a hot country act lasted about the same amount of time — and that’s exactly what makes Twain a leading candidate for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame."
Most impressive, though, is the position of one of Twain’s albums — 1997’s Come on Over — in not only country music but music as a whole. Come on Over has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide; it debuted at No. 1 on the country charts, where it stayed for 50 non-consecutive weeks, and stayed in the Top 10 for more than 150 weeks. In the United States, Come on Over is the best-selling album by a country artist of all time; the best-selling album by a female artist, in any genre, of all time; and the sixth best-selling album by any act of all time. The five artists above Twain on that list are Michael Jackson (Thriller), Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin IV), Pink Floyd (The Dark Side of the Moon), the Eagles (Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)) and AC/DC (Back in Black) — that’s some serious company.
Twain has five Grammy Awards, four ACM Awards, two CMA Awards and plenty of other trophies to her name. She’s got a star on both Canada’s Walk of Fame (she’s a native of Ontario, Canada) and the Hollywood Walk of Fame; in her native country, Twain also has a key to the city of Timmins, Ontario, and is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and an Order of Canada officer.
In June, Twain will receive an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum highlighting her life and career. Hopefully, a permanent spot in the hallowed hall isn’t far behind; she certainly deserves it.
The Boot and Taste of Country’s collaborative Point / Counterpoint series features staff members from the two sites debating topics of interest within country music once per month. Check back on June 20 for another installment.
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