Gretchen Wilson was born June 26, 1973 in Pocahontas, Illinois. She was raised by her single mother in a trailer park and leaving high school in the ninth grade. Wilson moved to Nashville to pursue a musical career and was eventually discovered by Big and Rich. She went to have two platinum selling albums in 2003 and 2005.
Country music singer. Born Gretchen Renée Wilson on June 26, 1973 in Pocahontas, Illinois. Raised in a trailer park by a single mother, Wilson left home and dropped out of school in ninth grade. She tended bar and worked in the kitchen at local clubs, singing for extra tips to pay the bills.
In 1996, after performing for several months as lead singer for a local cover band, Wilson moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. But it wasn't the overnight success she had dreamed of. For four years, she worked in bars waiting for her big break. It came in the form of singer-songwriters Big & Rich, who heard her sing one night and, impressed by her talent, introduced her to the Nashville music community.
Wilson eventually signed with Sony Music Nashville in 2003. Her debut album, Here for the Party, was certified quadruple platinum thanks in no small part to the chart-topping single "Redneck Woman." Her 2005 follow-up, All Jacked Up, debuted at No. 1 and was also certified platinum.
Wilson has continued to nurture her career by performing with such country music legends as Brooks & Dunn and Montgomery Gentry. In 2004, she won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and CMA's coveted Horizon Award. A year later, CMA named her Female Vocalist of the Year.
Wilson and former boyfriend Michael Penner have a daughter, Grace Frances. They reside in Lebanon, Tennessee.
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