Denise Truscello / Live NationWhen Shania Twain wrote “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” the song started as a message of encouragement to herself — but it turned into a female empowerment anthem. 

Sitting down in Las Vegas to chat with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest for Thursday’s edition of Live With Kelly and Ryan, the superstar shares that the hit song symbolized her transition into womanhood.  

“I was a very late bloomer in accepting that I was becoming a woman,” she explains. “When I wrote the song, it was more about my own self-empowerment that I was sharing in the song.” 

Shania explains that she grew up as a tomboy and was always playing football and other sports with the boys. But once she started getting curves, she became self-conscious about her body.  She eventually learned to embrace it, though, which is a central theme of the song.. 

“The inspiration was I started to appreciate the fact that I can really have fun being a woman,” she adds of the song’s meaning. “I didn’t realize it would have so much impact on others and that so many other people related to this.”

“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” was co-written by Shania and her former husband and producer Robert John Lange and released in 1999The song earned Shania a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2000 and has since become one of her signature hits. 

Tune in for another all-new episode of Live with Kelly & Ryan on Friday.

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