Music

Shania Twain Co-Wrote the 2001 Britney Spears Single 'Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know'

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In the late '90s and early aughts, both Shania Twain and Britney Spears ruled the pop charts. Two years after the release of Twain's smash crossover album Come On Over, Spears ushered in new era of pop music with her debut album ...Baby One More Time. 

And while the two music superstars have never recorded together, Twain did play a role in Spears' early career. Spears was working with Twain's ex-husband Robert John Lange (Mutt Lange), a producer on her second studio album Oops!...I Did it Again when she first met Twain, who co-wrote the ballad "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know" with Lange and Keith Scott.

"She was working with my ex-husband in the studio," Twain told Fuse in 2017. "She was very sweet and it was a great experience just to get to know her on a behind-the-scenes level a little bit and it was obviously an honor to have her record some of my songwriting."

The song was the final single from Oops!...I Did it Again, which also featured "Stonger" and "Lucky."

Along with "Born to Make You Happy" and "Sometimes," "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know" proved Spears could belt a ballad as well as the dance tracks that made her a pop princess. It also allowed Twain to hear her lyrics interpreted by another artist.

Twain, who feared she may never sing again after a battle with Lyme disease left her with nerve damage to her vocal cords, said she once thought she'd continue to make a living in the industry solely as a songwriter.

"I love writing for other people," Twain said. "In fact, when I believed that I was never going to be able to sing again myself. I thought well, on the positive side -- I mean there's no positive side to never being able to sing again, but I was thinking I will get a lot of pleasure writing for other singers and hearing other singers sing the songs that I've written. And I'll just keep writing and I'll still get to hear my music."

Thankfully, the "You're Still the One" singer-songwriter is still singing. She released her fifth studio album Now in 2017 and kicked off her second Las Vegas residency Let's Go! in 2019.

Twain says Spears' Vegas show Britney: Piece of Me served as an inspiration for her own Sin City run.

"She was initially in Zappos theater where I ended up myself and I loved the room," Twain said on an episode of her Home Now Radio podcast on Apple Music. "I thought her show was great and I was motivated to get on that same stage, so her show inspired me a lot. It was a fantastic show."

Spears is the subject of the 2021 documentary Framing Britney Spears, which traces her rise to stardom, re-examines her career and follows her court battle for control of her estate. The documentary also centers on the #FreeBritney movement, a response to the conservatorship (helmed by Spears' father, Jamie Spears) Spears has been under for more than a decade.

 


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Shania Twain Co-Wrote the 2001 Britney Spears Single 'Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know'