Some people say that Taylor Swift is the best country pop crossover artist but that don't impress me much. Life's about to get good because Shania Twain is preparing to play her first gig in Britain for over a decade and, to be quite frank, the woman in me could not be more excited. I don't care whose bed you boots have been under, you need to get them on and head down to Hyde Park on Sunday. Forever and for always Shania's songs will be as mesmerising as they were when she exploded onto the scene in the 90s and it is to her credit that, alongside being an amazing singer, she has singlehandedly written her upcoming album, Now, which, after the much publicised trauma she has faced in her personal life, demonstrates she ain't no quitter. Indeed, whether at a party for two or in my car, Shania's tunes are the sort that suit any occasion.
From this moment on, I hope Shania returns to the UK for shows on a more regular basis because, while listening to the majority of the Top 40 at the moment only hurts when I'm breathing, here is a real artist capable of marrying commercial appeal with substance. My girlfriend, Debs, says that when she was growing up, listening to Shania really made her feel like a woman and it goes to show that, beneath the glossy production and iconic music videos, there's a lyrical sophistication to Shania's work that wins my love.
Don't be stupid, ever since Shania's previous release, Up!, all the way back in 2002, we have been crying out for her to come on (back) over to prove once again that she's not just a pretty face. We are devastated that we are in Italy celebrating my Dad's 60th birthday at the moment and cannot accept our friend's invitation to the concert on Sunday but we hope whoever goes in our place will dance with the one that brought you. If you're thinking of putting your tickets up for sale on Viagogo, what ever you do don't. Admittedly you will have such a raucous time that you'll certainly be shouting "Waiter! Bring me water" the next day but it will be more than worth the suffering the next day.
I have long being arguing that, more than Madonna, Cher or Mariah Carey, Shania Twain is the best female pop artist of all time and, whilst some people turn to me and exclaim "What Made You Say That!", many also agree that Shania's got a way of making bona fide country music appealing to the mainstream that's rarely been seen before. When Debs and I first met, one of the first things she said to me was any man of mine has to have an appreciation for Shania Twain. She also made the excellent point, when I was worrying about the reaction of my repressed drinking buddy, Jamie Mansell, that no one needs to know. So, Shania, welcome back, you're still the one.