Of course, she’s the undisputed queen of pop country, and has always done things her way. And back at the 1995 CMA Awards, her unabashed confidence was on full display.
She took the stage to perform her hit “Any Man Of Mine,” and she didn’t just plainly walk down the aisle to get there…
She made sure to stop and see some of the biggest names in country music on her way up, sitting on the laps of Tim McGraw (pre-Faith Hill), Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart (who seemed to enjoy it more than any of the other guys), as well as flirting with John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence and the one and only Johnny Cash in the process, too.
“Any Man Of Mine” was co-written by Shania and her former producer and ex-husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange, and was included on her breakthrough 1995 The Woman In Me album.
It also became her first number one hit at country radio, when it was released as the second single in 1995.
The iconic music video garnered some criticism at the time, because she’s showing off her midriff (how times have changed, huh?), with country music purists hating on her for the pop leanings of a lot of the production in her music.
Eventually, though, she won a Grammy for this record for Best Country Album.
At the 1995 CMA’s, the song and video were both nominated for awards, and Shania was up for the Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year), against David Ball, Johnny Berry and Faith Hill.
These days, I don’t think people would think much of what she did sashaying down the aisle and flirting with some of country’s most famous men as part of the show of her performance, but back then, it was a pretty damn bold move.
Most of the guys seemed to at least get the humor of it and laughed it off, even if they might’ve been a little uncomfortable, though I have a sneaking suspicion that they probably didn’t have any real problem with it at all.
Vince Gill introduced Shania ahead of the performance, saying:
“Let’s get this thing started, Shania Twain, everybody!”
I mean… this is a total queen move, and it was certainly a daring choice from a young lady who’d already been receiving her fair share of criticism leading up to the show because of her musical style.
She was way ahead of her time, and that is quite obvious just from this whole video alone.
I’ve always known she had guts, but I have a whole new respect for her after watching her waltz straight up to Johnny Cash and tousle his hair in front of an audience of her peers, and a national audience watching at home on TV, in addition.