Terri Clark's thoughts on competing with Shania Twain are relevant, if only because they show how the culture for women in country music has changed.

  • Clark's full 25-minute-long conversation with Taste of Country can be found at the Taste of Country Nights, On Demand Podcast below.
  • Extended highlights can be seen in the following video, with the Q&A after.
  • She says a resurgence in the popularity of '90s country combined with similar projects from Brooks & Dunn and Tracy Lawrence inspired a new album.

Clark's new album Terri Clark: Take Two is an album of collaborations. She took eight of her most well-known hits from the 1990s and early 2000s and added today's top contemporary vocalists.

Cody Johnson joins for "I Just Wanna Be Mad." Lainey Wilson joins for "Poor Poor Pitiful Me." Kelly Clarkson adds new power to "If I Were You."

Related: Kelly Clarkson, Terri Clark + the Wild Text Exchange That Led to Their Collaboration

The Canadian-born and raised country singer says re-approaching these hits allowed her to tap back into how she felt when she first cut them. Often, when an artist plays his or her hits across two or three decades, the meaning gets lost.

Terri Clark: Take Two is a reconnect for artist and audience. The arrangements are very similar to the original recordings, and she resisted an urge to update lyrics (she's still watching Donahue in "Better Things to Do," for example).

In 1995, Clark and Twain both emerged with debut hits and potential to be the new face of country music. The "Any Man of Mine" hitmaker emerged, but Clark doesn't seem bitter. Talking to TOC, she admits it was competitive, and at times she did feel like she was in Shania's shadow.

Then, after Twain's career cooled off, another female hitmaker emerged to reset the cycle.

Taste of Country: Was there any camaraderie with the women of country music in the '90s and 2000s?

Terri Clark: I think there was camaraderie, but I think it felt almost — like I'm sure there's competitiveness going on today with the new, you know, a sense of competing with yourself more than anything. But I find there's — because there was such a stale point at radio for women in country music for a long time, and it's still not even by any sense — I think there's a more of a "We gotta stick togetherness" now than there was in the '90s when everybody was getting airplay.

"And Paul Brandt comes up to me one day, and he goes, 'I'm so sorry, Terri. It's like, if Garth Brooks were Canadian, I'd be screwed.'"

I mean, all the women who were making great records were getting air play. And there just doesn't seem to be as much room for every woman now. And for whatever reason, I think that has actually brought everybody closer together. Like, I sense. I sense a real sisterhood of women supporting women now that — not that we didn't have that then, but it feels much stronger now.

Was there anyone that you were like, "Man, I was too overly competitive with her." You know what I mean? Was there anyone that you were like, "I was just too overly competitive with Shania, and I shouldn't have done that"?

Shania and I were so. It was apples and oranges. We were on the same label. If anything, she probably helped my career because they were probably able to leverage her to help me get some stuff. But Shania, Shania was Canadian. She was on the same label.

The place where I felt her the most was probably at Canadian awards shows. "Of course she's gotta be Canadian." And Paul Brandt comes up to me one day, and he goes, "I'm so sorry, Terri. It's like, if Garth Brooks were Canadian, I'd be screwed."

Terri Clark Take Two Album Cover
UMG Nashville
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So I'm like, yeah, I know I'm going up against the 800-pound gorilla who happens to be Canadian, but, no, I'm so proud of her success, and she's just, she's on another stratosphere. She's like a Taylor Swift type of fame.

But yeah, to be really honest, it was like, I kind of felt like I was just doing my own thing for the longest time. We all compete for radio airplay at that time. You know, we're all competing. I just worked so much.

I think my agent at William Morris told me one time, he said, you are probably the hardest-working girl on our roster. And they have a big roster, and I worked a lot of dates for a lot of years. I opened a lot of tours. I was definitely the opening act for a lot of really great tours, which helped me get in front of big audiences and hone, you know, entertaining people.

But I remember hearing "Redneck Woman" for the first time, and I went, "Oh, s--t." (laughs) Here we go. Yeah. That one kind of got me a little bit. I'm like, "Damn it" ... What a hit, though. I love Gretchen (Wilson). I'm really happy for her. But, yeah, that was kind of a, "Whoo. Wow. I better strap on my seatbelt. Here she comes."

Billy Dukes is a Senior Editor and Executive Producer of Video Content at Taste of Country. He specializes in country music interviews, trend analysis and the Secret History of Country Music. Additionally, Billy covers Yellowstone, 1923 and related television shows through the Dutton Rules podcast. To date, he's written more than 13,000 articles for Taste of Country and produced over 3,000 videos for the Taste of Country YouTube channel.

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