Shania Twain on Taking Chances: 'I Know What It's Like to Be Rejected'

Shania Twain has never been afraid to take chances. From singing in bars as a child, to introducing a brand-new style of country music with her self-titled debut album in 1993, the Canadian has always been willing to embrace risk, something that still holds true today.

"Taking chances and being out of the comfort zone is really something that I'm enjoying," the 53-year-old told Billboard. "It's the way I live my life. I know what it's like to be rejected – I definitely had a hard time when I first started out. I just feel an inner strength and feel stronger when I'm taking on new challenges – I feel motivated by challenge. It's exciting, it's fun. I've done a few interesting things out of my comfort zone the last few years, like acting, and now with Real Country. I'm like, "Okay, I'm taking on this mission, and all I really have is passion behind it, and a great audience out there to connect with."

Twain is serving as a panelist, along with Jake Owen and Travis Tritt, on Real Country, the reality TV talent show that gives contestants the opportunity to compete for the grand prize, which is $100,000 and a chance to perform in front of industry insiders in the ultimate showcase. The show has already taught Twain plenty, mostly about herself.

"I've learned a lot about myself, more than anything," Twain explained. "I'm still learning about myself with this process. I'm a lot more passionate about the performers than I thought I would be. I thought I would be a little more neutral. Not that I thought I would be passive, but I thought I would be a little more official! I get wrapped up in the whole thing! And because [the artists are] professional already in their own right, it demands respect from us, and I really appreciate that. So it's not like I feel like some kind of authority. It's very different from the other shows, in that sense."

More than the chance to be on TV, the singer-songwriter joined the cast of Real Country to make a real impact on all the rising stars she encountered, but especially the women.

"I'm trying to make a difference," Twain told "I'm very passionate about, and concerned about the regression in country music, in the genre, as far as the ratio of women on the radio compared to [men]. I grew up listening to country music that had lots of women in the genre. And all these years later, there's less women than ever. What is that? That's called regression."

"I'm bothered by that," she continued. "I've already had my heyday, I'm not doing it for me. I'm worried about the upcoming girls that are gonna get discouraged and say, 'You know what? There's no room for us in this genre. There's no room for women.'"

As for what's next for Twain, she hints that there's still another creative outlet she hopes to explore more in the future.

"I want to do more acting, because when you're acting, you're not yourself, and it's kind of awesome to step out of yourself and be someone else just for a minute," Twain said. "I could see myself doing more of that. I've already been skydiving, so I don't think I'm going to jump out of a plane again. [Laughs] I've crossed that one off my list."

Real Country airs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on the USA Network.


Photo Credit: Getty images / NBC