Shania Twain has decided she’s due for a victory lap, and she’s taking one this summer.
Her “Rock This Country” tour, which starts on June 5 in Seattle, will be her first North American tour in more than 10 years.
It’s also going to be her last.
“This is a very, very important time in my life on the road,” Twain said in an interview with Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.” “This is going to be a big, big tour for me because it’s going to be my last.” Twain, 49, is calling the tour a “celebration.”
Twain brought country to pop music — something that’s still a challenge for contemporary female country artists — and basically provided the template for Taylor Swift’s career. Swift signaled in 2012 with “Red” that she was going to walk away from country, a decision she reaffirmed last year when she moved from Nashville to New York. Twain, her inspiration, offered her full-throated support, while others dinged Swift for turning her back on her country roots.
“I think that everybody should just follow their heart and do their artistic best, and just enjoy their creativity,” Twain told ET Canada last year. “[Taylor]’s a singer-songwriter-performer, she does it all … the world is her oyster. She’s young and she needs to just do whatever she’s having fun at and I think everybody’s loving it.”
Even though she hasn’t released a studio album since “Up!” in 2002, Twain is still the all-time top-selling female country artist, with more than 75 million albums sold. Still, it’s worth taking a look at the power Twain held when she was at the top of her game.
Twain was an outlier who had a crossover hit with “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “You’re Still the One,” all hits from “Come On Over,” which is still the all-time best-selling album by a female artist. She was the face of Revlon Colorstay foundation with Cindy Crawford. She’s a member of an elite group of women — Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, the Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood and Swift — who are the only female acts to win the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award.
With her dark hair pulled in a French roll and an all-black corset-gloves-miniskirt ensemble for “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” Twain set off a bout of Audrey Hepburn mania that tends works its way through the culture every few years (most recently with Beyoncé’s 2011 video for “Countdown” and Rooney Mara’s promotional tour for “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” that same year).
Twain’s iconic leopard-print getup from the “That Don’t Impress Me Much” video, where we saw her strolling through the desert in a matching hooded duster, bustier, pants, boots, gloves and choker — with a giant hatbox to top everything off — served as inspiration for Lady Gaga in “Telephone.”
In a 2011 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Twain revealed the pressure to repeat the success of “Come On Over” was crippling, and it was part of the reason she disappeared after her 2004 “Up!” tour. She also battled problems with her voice. After going through a horrible time in her life — her husband, producer and co-writer, Mutt Lange, left her for her best friend — she didn’t think she could sing again. So her successful two-year residency in Las Vegas was a huge personal victory, which is perhaps why she’s referring to the upcoming tour as an “after-party.”
It’s a triumph she plans to punctuate with the release of a new album — possibly on her 50th birthday, Aug. 28.
“I really want to go out with a bang,” Twain told Roberts.
Lady Gaga’s homage (one of many pop culture references sprinkled throughout “Telephone”) begins at the 8:30 mark:
Below, the tour dates for “Rock This Country” with Wes Mack and Gavin DeGraw:
June 5 — Seattle, Key Arena at Seattle Center
June 7 — Vancouver, Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
June 9 — Vancouver, Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
June 11 — Edmonton, Alberta, Rexall Place
June 12 — Edmonton, Alberta, Rexall Place
June 14 — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, SaskTel Centre
June 15 — Winnipeg, Manitoba, MTS Centre
June 19 — London, Ontario, Budweiser Gardens
June 20 — London, Ontario, Budweiser Gardens
June 22 — Hamilton, Ontario, FirstOntario Centre
June 24 — Toronto, Air Canada Centre
June 25 — Toronto, Air Canada Centre
June 27 — Ottawa, Wesley Clover Parks
June 28 — Montreal, Bell Centre
June 30 — New York City, Madison Square Garden
July 1 — Long Island, N.Y., Nassau Coliseum
July 3 — Uncasville, Conn., Mohegan Sun Arena
July 7 — Newark, Prudential Center
July 8 — Boston, TD Garden
July 10 — Pittsburgh, Consol Energy Center
July 11 — Grand Rapids, Mich., Van Andel Arena
July 13 — Indianapolis, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
July 15 — Jacksonville, Fla., Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
July 16 — Miami, American Airlines Arena
July 18 — Greenville, S.C., Bon Secours Wellness Arena
July 19 — Charlotte, Time Warner Cable Arena
July 21 — Washington, Verizon Center
July 22 — Philadelphia, Wells Fargo Center
July 25 — Auburn Hills, Mich., Palace of Auburn Hills
July 26 — Moline, Ill., iWireless Center
July 28 — Minneapolis, Target Center
July 29 — Rosemont, Ill., AllState Arena
July 31 — Nashville, Bridgestone Arena
Aug. 1 — Atlanta, Philips Arena
Aug. 3 — Louisville, KFC Yum Center
Aug. 4 — St. Louis, Scottrade Center
Aug. 6 — Des Moines, Wells Fargo Arena
Aug. 7 — Kansas City, Mo., Sprint Center
Aug. 9 — Austin, Frank Erwin Center
Aug. 10 — Dallas, American Airlines Center
Aug. 12 — Oklahoma City, Chesapeake Energy Center
Aug. 14 — Denver, Pepsi Center
Aug. 15 — Salt Lake City, EnergySolutions Arena
Aug. 17 — San Jose, SAP Center at San Jose
Aug. 19 — Anaheim, Calif., Honda Center
Aug. 20 — Los Angeles, Staples Center
Aug. 22 — San Diego, Valley View Casino Center
Aug. 24 — Fresno, Calif., Save Mart Center