Gretchen Wilson, 43, made her country music debut in 2004 with the Grammy Award-winning single “Redneck Woman,” a number-one hit on the Billboard country charts. The song served as the lead-off single of her debut album, Here for the Party. Wilson followed this successful 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.
During her career, the singer from Pocahontas, Illinois has charted 13 singles on the Billboard country charts, of which five have reached the Top 10. Wilson has sold over 8 million records worldwide.
Let’s get to know this talented artist with small-town roots below!
1) Her mother was only 16-years-old when she was born on June 26, 1973.
2) She went to school only through the eighth grade, and at 14 was working as a cook and bartenderat a bar called Big O’s in nearby Pierron, IIllinois.
3) Gretchen and John Rich wrote “Redneck Woman,” an autobiographical song in which she celebrates her humble background.
4) At age 34, Wilson earned her G.E.D. and he experience prompted her to become an advocate for adult-education funding.
5) Growing up just east of St. Louis, she is a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. The country artist even recorded a version of her hit song, “Redneck Woman,” dubbed “Redbird Fever” in honor of the baseball team.
6) Gretchen named her tour bus “Bus 27”— which is her lucky number and how old she was when she gave birth to her daughter Grace Penner on November 9, 2000. Grace’s father is Wilson’s ex-boyfriend Mike Penner.
7) In 1996, she left her hometown of Pocahontas, IL with just $500 in her pocket to build a music career in Nashville.
8) She is a huge fan of “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” superstar Pat Benatar.
9) She has performed with rock band Alice in Chains during the VH1 Rock Honors.
10) After seeing the 2004 documentary film Super Size Me, Gretchen Wilson was unfazed and committed to eating at McDonald’s at every tour stop.Share these interesting tidbits with other fans of this real country woman!