Following the prestigious CMT Artist of a Lifetime award, Shania Twain has been announced as this year's recipient of the Billboard Icon trophy.
With a reported 85 million album sales racked up from four albums released between 1993 and 2002, Twain is acknowledged to be the best-selling female artist in country music.
Her new accolade will be presented as part of Billboard's 11th annual Women in Music event, held Dec. 9 in New York City. The same gala will also honour Madonna as Woman of the Year, largely based on her history-making box-score from her most recent tour that generated a million ticket sales and grossed $170 million for a cumulative box-office gross of $1.31 billion since 1990 when the trade magazine first started tallying live data.
Over the course of Twain's almost three-decade career, the Canadian singer has achieved four US Country No. 1 albums, with 2002's Up! topping the Billboard 200 in '03. Her smash hit album Come On Over is recognized as the No. 1 country album of all time, and the second best-selling album overall since Nielsen Music began tracking US sales in 1991 -- selling 15.7 million copies.
A two year run at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas grossed over $43 million from 105 shows that sold almost 350,000 tickets. She subsequently updated the revue and took it on the road in North America and Europe to even greater success, all the way telling media and fans that she was working on a new album. That refrain continues, and appears to have some substance as it has been confirmed she has been recording in Nashville over several months this year.
Twain's last studio release was 14 years ago; since then three albums have been released capturing her greatest hits, a Live from Vegas CD and DVD, and The Complete Limelight Sessions that was produced at Huntsville, ON's Deerhurst Resort by the late Canadian record producer Harry Hinde before she became a global success and then billed herself as Eilleen Twain. She was actually born Eilleen Regina Edwards.
In Canada, Twain is the only artist to have certified Double Diamond albums that represent sales of two-million albums per. The titles are: The Woman In Me, Come On Over, and Up.