Shania Twain splits from husband

Thu May 15, 2008 3:59pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Canadian country star Shania Twain has separated from her husband of 14 years, reclusive record producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, People magazine reported on Thursday.

It quoted a spokesman as saying, "This is a private matter and there will be no further comment at this time." Twain, 42, and Lange, who is in his late 50s, have a a 6-year-old son named Eja.

The marriage between the sexy singer and the secretive Svengali famed for his work with such metal acts as AC/DC and Def Leppard, was an unlikely -- but highly lucrative -- partnership.

Lange produced Twain's three blockbuster albums, which have each sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. The glossy efforts, complemented by steamy video clips, crushed the barrier separating country and pop.

Like many men, Lange was entranced by one of Twain's videos, the first of many in which she showed off her famed belly button. He called her persistently, and they agreed to collaborate professionally. Six months after they eventually met, they married in December 1993.

Unlike many superstar producers, Lange has not given an interview in decades and is rarely photographed. He did not even appear in the official wedding photo Twain distributed to the media.

But his fingerprints were all over Twain's huge trilogy of albums, 1995's "The Woman in Me," 1997's "Come on Over," and 2002's "Up!" More arena rock than traditional country, the albums were packed with catchy hooks and lyrics celebrating female empowerment.

The couple avoided the spotlight by dividing their time between a chateau near Geneva and a luxury farmhouse in New Zealand.

Reuters/Nielsen

 
<p>Shania Twain arrives at the 39th Annual Country Music Awards in New York November 15, 2005. REUTERS/ Mario Anzuoni</p>