Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June 26: country music singer Gretchen Wilson is 39-years-old today.


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 dropped out of the 9th grade to work as a cook and bartender in rural Illinois. At age 15, she began singing in small bars around the St. Louis, Missouri area.

In 1991, Susie Osburn, a bar manager from Springfield, Missouri, heard eighteen-year-old Wilson singing Patsy Cline covers so well that Osburn initially thought the singing was coming from a jukebox. Osburn convinced her and her band, Sam-A-Lama, to move to Springfield and play at the Townhouse. After playing the Townhouse for two years at six nights a week, Wilson moved back home to Pocahontas before continuing on to Nashville.

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 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.

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. Her third album, One of the Boys, was released in 2007. The album debuted at #5 on the Top 200 and at #1 on the Country album chart.

In 2009, Wilson launched Redneck Records, her own record label. "Work Hard, Play Harder" was released to radio in October 2009 as the first single from the label. Her fourth studio album, I Got Your Country Right Here, was released in March 2010.

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," "When I Think About Cheatin'," "Homewrecker" and "All Jacked Up." Gretchen's Here for the Party album was certified 5× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA for sales of five million copies.

Gretchen Wilson has sold over 6 million records worldwide. 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.


For more about Gretchen, visit her Website at-


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