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Gretchen Wilson
Photo: John Shearer/WireImage

Gretchen Wilson

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Gretchen Wilson is a Grammy award-winning country singer known for her song "Redneck Woman."

Who Is Gretchen Wilson?

Gretchen Wilson was raised by her single mother in a trailer park and left 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.

Early Life

Wilson was born 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.

Music Career

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.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Actress Irene Bedard attends the premiere of Vox Box Entertainment's "Ron and Laura Take Back America" at Sundance Cinema on March 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

Irene Bedard

Joy Harjo, writer during 2005 Sundance Film Festival - "A Thousand Roads" Portraits at HP Portrait Studio in Park City, Utah, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

Joy Harjo

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.

Other albums include: One of the Boys (2007), I Got Your Country Right Here (2008), Right on Time (2013) Under the Covers (2013) and Christmas in My Heart (2013).


Wilson was arrested in August 2018 for reportedly acting "belligerent" while on an American Airlines flight to Connecticut. A spokesperson for the Hartford Judicial District State's Attorney said that the country singer was arrested after the flight landed and was charged with a misdemeanor for breach of peace.

Personal Life

Wilson and former boyfriend Michael Penner have a daughter, Grace Frances. 

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