It's been nearly a decade since country crossover sensation Shania Twain has performed live--8 years, to be exact--but the 47-year-old singer proved she really is "still the one" at the opening night of her Las Vegas residency Saturday night.
The moment she arrived on stage--on a flying motorcycle, no less!--Twain received a standing ovation from the sold-out Caesars Palace crowd before even singing a note. Dressed to rock out in a sparkly black catsuit that showed her every curve, she looked every bit as good, perhaps even better, than she did the last time she performed...back in 2004.
Twain took time to thank the audience and admitted the debut was an emotional experience for her.
"This is a very overwhelming night," she said. "I'm so emotional, my eyelashes may fall off! It's been a lot of years for me since I've been here."
According to the Las Vegas Sun, however, Twain didn't miss a beat despite being out of the live arena for so long. Noting that her 100-minute show "set a new level that other Strip stars will now have to kick it up a notch to stay even," the Sun reported she trotted out a variety of showstopping effects to accompany hits such as "You're Still The One," "That Don't Impress Me Much," and "Ain't No Quitter"--including a host of dancing musicians, sexy film clips, and not one, but two, real horses on stage.
She also dazzled the crowd with various wardrobe changes, including a reprise of her famous black coat and bowler hat for the encore, "Man! I Feel Like A Woman."
Twain at the 2004 CMA Awards, one of her last performances before hiatus. (Photo: Frank Micelotta)Twain's return to the stage is a personal triumph for the superstar, who suffered from an inability to sing or perform following a painful divorce from her first husband, producer Robert "Mutt" Lange. She detailed her struggles to return to her craft in a series for Oprah Winfrey's OWN network in 2011, where she confessed to Winfrey, "I have lost my ability to express myself and my ability to sing." After much work rehabilitating her voice--and a happy new marriage to her friend Frederic Thiebaud in January 2011--she regained confidence to return to live performance. Shortly after the debut of the biopic, she announced her plans to headline Caesars Palace in June 2011.
When asked if she was nervous Saturday night, Twain told People, "I'm actually pretty good." She explained that husband Thiebaud is a major source of comfort for her: "I cannot live without him. I need that support. I just need what we have. It grounds me every day and reminds me that there are a lot of important things going on in the world...he keeps it all in perspective."
Twain, who's sold more than 75 million albums and won five Grammy Awards, released one new single in 2011--her first in six years--"Today Is Your Day," but has put plans for a full-length album on hold for the time being. She'll be headlining the Las Vegas resort for two years.
Tickets for Twain's residency can be purchased here.