TIMMINS -- Man, she feels ... single?
Country star Shania Twain and husband Robert (Mutt) Lange -- the uber-producer who steered her to international success -- are splitting up after 14 years of marriage.
"This is a private matter and there will be no further comment at this time," Twain's Canadian publicist said yesterday.
Twain and Lange first met in person at Nashville's Fan Fair in June 1993. They spoke on the telephone many times before that, with Mutt offering to be her producer and write songs with her.
Lange, 59, is notoriously reclusive and hasn't granted an interview in decades. He reportedly buys photos of himself to restrict their use.
Twain, 42, has a six-year-old son named Eja with Lange.
The pair divided their time between Switzerland and New Zealand.
Lange has been one of the most successful producers in the world. He has produced albums for Def Leppard, AC/DC, Foreigner and Bryan Adams.
Once the news hit the Internet shocked fans from around the world began e-mailing the Shania Twain Centre in Timmins, Twain's home town, expressing their sadness at the couple's parting of ways.
"We just heard about it when a fan called saying they'd read it online," said Tracy Hautenan, manager at the Shania Twain Centre. "It's sad."
Timmins resident Marnie Couture said she is a huge Twain fan.
"It's kind of sad to hear; although things like that happen a lot in showbiz. I thought it was true love and they'd be together forever."
Couture believes Twain will get through it, both emotionally and career-wise.
"I think she's popular enough now that she'll survive. She'll still be able to release albums but (without Mutt) they might not be as good."
Couture's friend Kim Bird, also from Timmins, wasn't surprised.
"It doesn't matter. It isn't going to affect her music; she's still a great artist."
Twain has recorded four albums with Lange as producer and co-writer on three of them. Plus, in 2004 she released a greatest hits album that included three new songs.
She has won several awards, including album of the year for The Woman in Me and top new female vocalist, both in 1996 at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
John Emms, a Timmins-based musician and music critic, said if the split had happened earlier in Twain's career it might've had a bigger impact on her success.
"Mutt can pull hits out of anyone who has talent and Shania has talent. If she hadn't sold so many records the consequences might have been more dire."
Emms said Twain could pick out of the Top 10 producers in the business and have continued success, although he wondered how much of the writing could be attributed to Lange.
"He co-wrote a lot of her songs. It'll be interesting to see what her lyrics and sound will be like now."
- Files from The Canadian Press
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