Gretchen Wilson Tickets for Sale
Gretchen Wilson's story is not unlike The Simpsons episode where Homer befriends the aspiring country singer Lurlene Lumpkin. Like Lumpkin, Wilson grew up in a poor, rural part of the country. Born to a 16-year-old mother and to a father who left the home when she was only a toddler, Wilson grew up in Pocahontas, Ill., and moved nomadically from trailer park to trailer park. While only 14 and with just an eighth grade education, she worked as a bartender and a cook in the same tavern as her mom. Wilson began her career in her early 20s by singing in bar bands and soon she relocated to Nashville where she joined up with the Muzik Mafia songwriting club. Her debut single, 'Redneck Woman,' (which she co-wrote with John Rich of Big & Rich and Lonestar) set sales records on the Billboard charts, making her an overnight sensation. She has been credited with saving country music in a time when Nashville is leaning toward the pop production of Faith Hill and Shania Twain -- artists who sound like they're desperately trying to cross over into the Adult Contemporary market. In contrast, Wilson celebrates her redneck roots in her compositions (by name checking Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock, for example).
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26 June 1973, Pocahontas, Illinois USA. Wilson's poverty-stricken upbringing in rural Illinois bears similarities to the backgrounds of fellow country singers Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. The daughter of a single teenage mother, Wilson was working in a local bar alongside her mother by the age of 14. It was here she first took to the stage, singing along to karaoke CDs for tips. She graduated to a covers band before taking her destiny in her own hands and decamping to Nashville in the mid-90s. Like many hopefuls arriving in country music's city of dreams Wilson was soon working in a bar in order to pay the rent, and before long had a daughter of her own to look after. She was talent spotted by John Rich, singing with the house band in the bar where she worked. Rich in turn introduced Wilson to a group of Nashville-based songwriters called the Muzik Mafia. The experience of working with a group of like-minded artists helped her songwriting, and with a number of tracks committed to tape Wilson began doing the rounds of the record companies. She signed a major label recording contract with Sony Music Nashville and entered the studio with Rich and co-producers Mark Wright and Joe Scaife to work on her debut album. Premiered by the stomping single 'Redneck Woman', Here For The Party was an instant success on both the country and mainstream charts, debuting on the latter at number 2 in May 2004. Wilson's musical eclecticism and her gritty lyricism marks her out as a refreshing alternative to the bland production line country pop sound, personified by Shania Twain and Faith Hill, prevalent in Nashville.