On This Day: Shania Twain Scores No. 1 With Iconic Ballad ‘You’re Still the One’ in 1998

by TK Sanders

Twenty-four years ago to the day, country music icon Shania Twain scored a massive hit when “You’re Still the One” flew to the top of the charts. The soulful ballad with organ, piano, guitar, and a heaping dose of Twain’s sexual magnetism was an immediate success with fans of both country and mainstream radio. “You’re still the One” is a love song. But more importantly, it’s a song about overcoming adversity and doubt. Though, ironically, the song itself didn’t have to overcome much at all to rise to No. 1 on the country singles chart on May 2, 1998.

Twain co-wrote the song with then-husband and producing partner Mutt Lange, whose romance seemed like a country music fairytale at the time. The marriage didn’t last, but the song remains iconic thanks to the heartfelt lyrics and passionate performance. In her autobiography, Twain recalls the song coming together seamlessly.

“Mutt and I spent a lot of time apart as I was promoting and touring. And he was in studios working on tracks and arrangements as we wrote,” Twain writes. “It’s surprising that we were able to write all this stuff with so little time together. We wrote independently and merged ideas when we joined up.

“I remember feeling very excited about the counter line sung by Mutt as backing vocals in “You’re Still the One,” she adds. “As I sang the chorus melody repeatedly while working out the lyrics, he kicked in with the counter line, ‘You’re still the one,’ and it gave me chills. All of a sudden we had a hit chorus. It was a magic moment.”

Shania twain said she knew ‘You’re Still the One’ transcended genres when she recorded it

“You’re Still the One” was actually the second single off of Shania Twain’s 1997 album Come on Over; but the single was unique because the record label purposefully marketed the song to both pop and contemporary radio in addition to country, The Boot writes. Released at the end of January 1998, the song only took three months to climb to the top of the charts.

“Although the song has country elements of warm, acoustic strumming, the verses are dominated by piano; while a smoldering organ, my least favorite instrument, stands out as the most prominent sound on the choruses,” Twain writes in From This Moment On, calling the song “a personal favorite of mine.”

“The music, I believe, transcended genres,” she said, “and the universal message of the lyrics gave it broad crossover appeal.”

Country fans certainly accepted the single as one of their own, but pop audiences really adopted it the most. The song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, solidifying Shania as a force in the music industry on the whole; not just country radio. A year later in 1999, the song nabbed two Grammy Awards, for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

Riding the wave of success, production teams also tweaked the song for international audiences.

“We’ve taken out some of the sounds that Europe would find a little less palatable and made it more universal,” Twain told Billboard in January 1998, referencing the fiddle especially. As a result, “You’re Still the One” became a top 10 hit in the UK for Shania Twain, as well.