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Aboard the Shania train

Shania Twain — and her fans — are ready for her first U.S. tour in more than 2 1/2 years.
/ Source: TODAY

Before she performed on the Plaza, Shania Twain rocked Chicago’s Grant Park with her first U.S. concert in two-and-a-half years. The concert will air Aug. 19 on NBC, but “Today” was there with a backstage pass.

Thousands packed Grant Park to hear Shania sing what she called “a straight ahead party in the park kinda concert.” The cameras were rolling for an NBC special called “Shania Up! Live in Chicago.”

Shania certainly has a lot to be “up” about. Her latest CD has sold more than 9 million copies. And in a recent poll of “beer drinkers” in her native Canada, the singing sensation was voted the country’s sexiest celebrity. And although she says she doesn’t feel sexy at all, it’s safe to say the voters were sober at the time.

“I see myself more as a sporty person. I find myself kinda goofy, quite honestly, for the most part,” says Shania. “I think I probably say the most about myself in my music.”

That music includes girl-power anthems like “I Feel Like a Woman,” “I’m Gonna Getcha Good” and patriotic jams like “Rock This Country.” She’ll take them all on the road in the U.S. starting in September, as part of her World Tour that’s so far spanned Europe, Australia and Japan.

“I can’t wait,” says Shania. “It’s the big reward because the audience has a different face every night. Every city has a different personality and it’s great fun. It really is like a party. I really, really enjoy it. There’s nothing like it and it’s really why I do what I do.”