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 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, 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" (#3, 2004), "When I Think About Cheatin'" (#4, 2004), "Homewrecker" (#2, 2005), and "All Jacked Up" (#8, 2005). The album Here for the Party was certified 5× 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
1.1 Early life
1.2 Here for the Party
1.3 All Jacked Up
1.4 One of the Boys
1.5 I Got Your Country Right Here
1.7 Rock Music
1.9 Charities and Public Service
3.1 Grammy Award history
6 External links
Gretchen Wilson was born in Pocahontas, Illinois, to a 16-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 15 to work as a cook and bartender in rural Illinois.
Wilson began singing in small bars around the St. Louis, Missouri, area at age 15. 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 18-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.
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, 2001. Gracie is the only child. In 1996, she moved to Nashville to sing back-up and record samples. In 2000, she met John Rich, a member of Big & Rich, who invited her to become his songwriting partner. In 2007, she completed the GED program. As of 2009 she lives in Lebanon, Tennessee.
A lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, Wilson sang the national anthem in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series at Busch Stadium. However, the game ended with the death of the Curse of the Bambino. She even did a reowrked version of her biggest hit, Redneck Woman, entitled, Redbird Fever, in honor of the Cardinals.
Here for the Party
Wilson performing in a concert
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. 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× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA.