No amount of exclamation points can quite capture just how BIG! Shania Twain’s Come on Over LP was around the globe at the dawn of a new millennium. Initially released in the U.S. on November 4th, 1997, and subsequently throughout the world in a revised “International” pop version to appeal to Twain’s widening fanbase, Come on Over soon became the best-selling country album of all time, the best-selling LP by a female artist in any genre and one of the 10 best-selling albums in history, with sales of more than 20 million in the U.S. and 40 million worldwide. So, is it any wonder that there are no less than six exclamation points attached to four of the 16 tracks on the LP? Two of them are even used in the title of “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” which was released as the seventh country single from Come on Over.
At 18, Twain was sharing a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto with a pair of college co-eds. While her roommates attended classes, she studied music at home. On the weekends, the aspiring singer and her pals would go dancing at a local gay bar, where she was introduced to men who were much more adept at applying makeup than she was at the time. She noted in her 2011 autobiography From This Moment On that the experience would inspire the writing of “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” (penned with then-husband and producer “Mutt” Lange) and would especially influence the gender-bending music video, itself a cheeky take-off on Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” clip. At the 2000 Grammy Awards, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” earned Twain a Grammy and “You’re Still the One” (also from Come on Over) won for Best Country Song that year.
Six years after Twain’s Grammy success, her single was certified gold with 500,000 copies sold — an event which took place ten years ago today, on February 3, 2006. That milestone may have had some assistance from future country superstar Carrie Underwood, who performed the song on May 17th, 2005 when American Idol judge Randy Jackson chose it for the Top Three finalist as part of the season’s last episode before the finale. Ahead of her rendition, a taped piece showed Underwood at a homecoming event in Checotah, Oklahoma, being given the news by flustered Checotah Mayor Jay Hayes, who was visibly embarrassed at having to utter the song’s title.
With the head of her future record label, RCA Music Group chief Clive Davis, seated at the judge’s table with Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell (who, in typical fashion, groused that the first part of the song didn’t sound anything like her but admitted the second half was enough to get her into the final). One week later, of course, after 37 million votes were cast, Underwood became the show’s fourth-season winner over Bo Bice. Underwood is currently on the road with her Storyteller Tour.
In March 2015, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” was included on the CD and DVD of Shania’s Still the One: Live from Vegas, a chronicle of the superstar entertainer’s hugely successful Sin City residency. And for those keeping score, the song titles on Twain’s Up! — the follow-up to Come on Over — included 10 exclamation points.