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Gretchen Wilson

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BLP sources|date=May 2007Infobox musical artist|name = Gretchen Wilson|image = GretchenWilsonApr10.jpg|caption = Wilson in April 2010|background = solo_singer|birth_name = Gretchen Frances Wilson|Born = birth date and age|1973|06|26|origin = Pocahontas, Illinois |instrument = Singing|Vocals
Acoustic guitar |genre = Country music|Country , Country-rock |occupation = Singer-songwriter |years_active = 2004& ndash;present|label = Epic Records|Epic Nashville
Columbia Records|Columbia Nashville
Redneck Records |associated_acts = MuzikMafia
Big & Rich , Kenny Chesney |website =
Gretchen Frances Wilson (born June 26, 1973) is an American country music artist. She made her debut in 2004 with the Grammy Award -winning single " Redneck Woman ," a number-one hit on the Billboard (magazine)|Billboard country charts. The song served as the lead-off single of her debut album, Here for the Party . Wilson followed this album one year later with All Jacked Up , the title track of which became the highest-debuting single for a female country artist upon its 2005 release. A third album, One of the Boys (Gretchen Wilson album)|One of the Boys , was released in 2007.

Overall, Wilson has charted 13 singles on the Billboard country charts, of which five have reached Top Ten: the Number One "Redneck Woman", as well as " Here for the Party (song)|Here for the Party " (#3, 2004), "When I Think About Cheatin'" (#4, 2004), "Homewrecker" (#2, 2005), and " All Jacked Up (song)|All Jacked Up " (#8, 2005). The album Here for the Party was certified 5& times; Multi-Platinum by the RIAA for sales of five million copies, while All Jacked Up was certified platinum. She has sold over 6 million records worldwide.

Early life

Gretchen Wilson was born in Pocahontas, Illinois , to a sixteen-year-old mother. Her father left before she was two years old, and she and her mother lived in trailer parks and relative poverty. Wilson's mother worked as a waitress, and Wilson herself, dropped out of the 9th grade at age fifteen to work as a cook and bartender in rural Illinois.

Wilson began singing in small bars around the St. Louis, Missouri area at age fifteen. In 1991, Susie Osburn, a bar manager from Springfield, Missouri , went to St. Louis to find a new house band for her bar, the Townhouse. She found eighteen-year-old Wilson singing Patsy Cline covers so well that Osburn initially thought the singing was coming from a jukebox. Recognizing Wilson's talent, Osburn immediately convinced her and her band, Sam-A-Lama, to move to Springfield and play at the Townhouse. In her biography, Wilson says it was the offer of a lifetime. After playing the Townhouse for two years at six nights a week, Wilson moved back home to Pocahontas before continuing on to Nashville .

Country music career

Here for the Party

Wilson signed with Epic Records in 2003 and recorded Here for the Party within the year. Her first single, "Redneck Woman", was released in early 2004 and reached the top of the Hot Country Songs charts and #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 . This song was also the first Number One country hit by a female in two years.cite web |url=Allmusic|class=artist|id=p657188/biography|pure_url=yes |title=Gretchen Wilson biography |accessdate=2008-10-06 |last=Ruhlmann |first=William |work= Allmusic The success of "Redneck Woman" prompted an earlier-than-planned release for Here for the Party , and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard country chart. It also reached #2 on the Billboard 200 and Billboard Internet album sales charts. She performed as a support artist for Brooks & Dunn and Montgomery Gentry .

She released the title track to her debut album as the second single. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard country chart. Two other songs were released as singles, and both reached the top 10. Released in markets outside the U.S., the album hit #2 on the Australian country charts (behind Kasey Chambers ) and the top 50 of the Australian charts. Here for the Party was certified 5& times; Multi-Platinum by the RIAA.

All Jacked Up

On September 27, 2005, Gretchen released her second album, All Jacked Up , which peaked at #1 on both the Top 200 and Country album charts and sold 1 million copies. The title track debuted at #21 on the Hot Country Songs charts, setting a record for the highest debut ever made by a female artist. This record was broken in late 2007 by Carrie Underwood 's " So Small ". Despite its high debut, however, "All Jacked Up" peaked at #8 on Hot Country Songs after only eight chart weeks. It was also used, at one time, by ESPN as the opening theme for its baseball coverage. Three more singles were released from All Jacked Up : "I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today", "Politically Uncorrect" (a duet with Merle Haggard ) and "California Girls", none of which reached Top 20 on the country charts. These latter two singles were issued on Columbia Records , due to the closure of Epic Records's Nashville division.

Wilson's "I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today" was nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and Best Country Song. In 2006, Wilson contributed a well-received cover of Kris Kristofferson 's "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down" on the tribute CD The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson .

One of the Boys

On May 15, 2007, Wilson released her third album, One of the Boys . The album debuted at #5 on the Top 200 and at #1 on the Country album chart. After 10 weeks, it exited the Billboard Top 200, having sold 178,220 copies at that point. "Come to Bed" (a duet with John Rich) and the title track, the first two singles released, both peaked in the thirties on the country charts, while the third and final single ("You Don't Have to Go Home") failed to reach the Top 40

I Got Your Country Right Here

On July 14, 2008, Wilson released a new single, "Don't Do Me No Good". This song was intended to be the lead-off single to a fourth studio album, but it failed to reach the Top 40 and the album was delayed. It was followed in 2009 by two more singles, "The Earrings Song" and "If I Could Do It All Again," neither of which entered the charts. Wilson then issued a press release on July 28, 2009, stating that she would be parting with Sony Music Nashville.cite web|url=|title=Gretchen Wilson, Sony Music part ways|date=2009-07-28|work=CMT|accessdate=2009-07-28 Wilson then launched Redneck Records, her own record label. " Work Hard, Play Harder " was released to radio on October 26, 2009 as the first single from the label and her fourth studio album, I Got Your Country Right Here , was finally released on March 30, 2010. Her former label, Columbia Nashville, released her first Greatest Hits (Gretchen Wilson album)|Greatest Hits album on January 19, 2010, to finish off her recording contract.

Other ventures

Rock Music

While a country singer first and foremost, Gretchen Wilson has also attracted favorable attentioncite web|author=08:13 PM |url= |title=Wow Gretchen Wilson does a cover of Heart& #33; - Telecaster Guitar Forum | |date= |accessdate=2011-12-10 for her rendition of classic rock songs by Heart (band)|Heart - a group which she sees as "one of the biggest influences on my musical career.".cite web|author=itogrr |url= v=_KRzICeBXBE |title=GRETCHEN WILSON Heart's 'Straight On' LIVE w/JOHN RICH |publisher=YouTube |date= |accessdate=2011-12-10 She has appeared several times on the same stage as lead singer Ann Wilson and guitarist Nancy Wilson (rock musician)|Nancy Wilson , once describing the experience as "beyond a dream come true".cite web|url= |title=westcoastmusic: Gretchen Wilson (Country Music female artist) Jams With Heart | |date=2004-12-12 |accessdate=2011-12-10 She has sung " Straight On ", " Crazy on You ", and - most notably - " Barracuda (song)|Barracuda ",cite web|author=aljack100 |url= v=BqQkECIn738& feature=related# |title=Gretchen Wilson & Alice in Chains - Barracuda |publisher=YouTube |date= |accessdate=2011-12-10 which she performed with Alice in Chains and Nancy Wilson on guitar at the VH1 Rock Honors|2007 VH1 Rock Honors .cite web|author=aljack100 |url= v=BqQkECIn738 |title=Gretchen Wilson & Alice in Chains - Barracuda |publisher=YouTube |date= |accessdate=2011-12-10

Personal life

After a failed marriage to former Baywolfe bandmate Larry Rolens, she moved to Nashville and began dating Mike Penner. They have a daughter, Grace Frances Penner, who was born on November 9, 2000. Grace is Wilson's only child. Wilson and Penner are no longer together.

A lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals , Wilson sang the The Star-Spangled Banner|national anthem in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series at Busch Memorial Stadium|Busch Stadium .cite video|title=Major League Baseball on Fox: Game 4 of the 2004 World Series|publisher=Fox|date=October 27, 2004|medium=television She even did a reworked version of her biggest hit, Redneck Woman , entitled, Redbird Fever , in honor of the Cardinals.

In 2007, Wilson completed the GED program and received her high school diploma, a source of great pride to her. She actively promotes adult education.

As of 2011 she lives in Lebanon, Tennessee .


On July 31, 2008, The Black Crowes filed a lawsuit against Wilson for copyright violation, alleging that her song "Work Hard, Play Harder" copied the Crowes song " Jealous Again (The Black Crowes song)|Jealous Again ". Also included in the suit were her label Sony BMG , her publishing company, and the cable network Turner Network Television|TNT , which has been using the song in commercials.cite news | last=Serpe | first=Gina | title=Black Crowes Caw Out Gretchen Wilson for Alleged Song Stealing | url= | publisher=E& #33; Online | date=2008-07-30 | accessdate=2008-07-31 There is no resolution at present; however, Crowes manager Pete Angelus has stated that he expects a quick resolution without litigation.cite news | last=Cohen | first=Jonathan | title=Black Crowes Accuse Wilson Of Infringement | url= vnu_content_id=1003833560 | work= Billboard (magazine)|Billboard | date=2008-07-30 | accessdate=2008-07-31



Gretchen Wilson sang the National Anthem (blended with a voice-over of the Pledge of Allegiance) to a national audience at the 2008 Republican National Convention|Republican National Convention on September 3, 2008, later describing this as a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience at an "historic moment".cite web|url= |title=Gretchen Wilson describes �surreal� convention performance - Entertainment, Music |publisher=Army Times |date= |accessdate=2011-12-10 Wilson and her band also performed during a rally for Republican Party (United States)|Republican presidential candidate John McCain and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 22, 2008 to an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 12,000 supporters. Palin started the rally by exclaiming that she couldn't wait to get Wilson's autograph. Wilson played a version of the Heart (band)|Heart song Barracuda (song)|"Barracuda" for Palin.,+Composers,+Singers,+Groups/Gretchen+Wilson/0gkn7ZR4VScEX/1 "Palin, McCain Rally At Airport", USA Today , October 23, 2008

Charities and Public Service

Gretchen Wilson has been active in support for children's charities, adult education, and the fight against obesity. Initiatives to date include: (1) Raising over $1.5 million through benefit performances for children�s charities,cite web|url= |title=Gretchen Wilson Raises $1.5 Million During Charity Bar Gigs - Gretchen Wilson Music |publisher=Zimbio |date= |accessdate=2011-12-10 such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital|St. Jude�s Children�s Research Hospital and the Make-a-Wish Foundation|Make-A-Wish Foundation . (2) Serving as national spokesperson for Country Bands Together, a national obesity education and counseling/support campaign sponsored by Allergan . (3) Advocacy for adult education, including testimony before Congress on the value and importance of support for adult learners.cite web|author=EdLaborDemocrats |url= v=4Mm799gGtbY& feature=related |title=New Innovations and Best Practices under the Workforce Investment Act: Gretchen Wilson |publisher=YouTube |date=2009-05-05 |accessdate=2011-12-10 v=Hxv7DNuii38& feature=related dead link|date=December 2011 dead link|date=December 2011


In April 2010, Wilson released a customized version of "Work Hard, Play Harder" in honor of the National Hockey League 's Nashville Predators , with reworked lyrics mentioning the team and its fans.cite web|author=blakegrant |url= v=bnMIWdCZ-4o& feature=related |title=Play Harder Predators Edit |publisher=YouTube |date=2010-04-22 |accessdate=2011-12-10
She also sponsors a women's softball team in Pierron, Illinois .


  • 2005 Country Music Association|CMA Female Vocalist of the Year

  • 2004 Academy of Country Music|ACM Top Female Vocalist

  • 2004 Academy of Country Music|ACM Top New Artist

  • 2004 Country Music Association|CMA Horizon Award

  • 2004 Grammy Award Best Female Country Vocal Performancecite web|url= |title=Gretchen Wilson : Awards | |date= |accessdate=2011-12-10

  • Grammy Award history

    Category!!Genre!!Album or Song!!Year!!Result
    Best Country Female Vocal PerformanceCountry"Redneck Woman"2005cite news> url=http:/ / stories/ 2005/ 02/ 14/ in_depth_showbiz/ main673822.shtml
    Best New ArtistGeneralN/ A2005cite web>url=http:/ / shows/ events/ grammys/ 2005/ nominees/ awards.jhtml? nomCat=best_of
    Best Country SongCountry"Redneck Woman"2005cite web>url=http:/ / shows/ events/ grammys/ 2005/ nominees/ awards.jhtml? nomCat=country
    Best Country AlbumCountry Here for the Party 2005Nominated
    Best Country AlbumCountry All Jacked Up 2006cite web>author=December 8, 2005; Written by Craig Shelburne
    Best Female Country Vocal PerformanceCountry"All Jacked Up"2006Nominated
    Best Country SongCountry "All Jacked Up"2006Nominated
    Best Country Collaboration w/ VocalsCountry "Politically Uncorrect"2006Nominated
    Best Female Country Vocal PerformanceCountry"I'd Love To Be Your Last"2011Nominated


    Main|Gretchen Wilson discography
  • Here for the Party (2004)

  • All Jacked Up (2005)

  • One of the Boys (Gretchen Wilson album)|One of the Boys (2007)

  • I Got Your Country Right Here (2010)

  • References


    External links

    Commons category|Gretchen Wilson
  • Gretchen Wilson official site

  • Gretchen Wilson at CMT

  • interview with Gretchen Wilson by Ellen Mallernee *Gretchen Wilson at the Internet Movie Database

  • Gretchen Wilson
    Persondata | NAME =Wilson, Gretchen
    | DATE OF BIRTH =June 26, 1973
    DEFAULTSORT:Wilson, Gretchen Category:1973 births
    Category:American country singers
    Category:American country singer-songwriters
    Category:American female singers
    Category:Columbia Records artists
    Category:Grammy Award winners
    Category:Musicians from Illinois
    Category:Living people
    Category:People from Bond County, Illinois
    Category:Epic Records artists

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