Fast Facts

  • Raised by her mom (her dad left when she was 2) in various trailer parks in and around Pocahontas, IL.
  • Dropped out of school at age 14 and worked at Big O's, a roadside bar where her mother also worked.
  • Moved to Nashville in 1996 to pursue a music career and was eventually spotted performing at a bar by Big Kenny and John Rich, aka Big and Rich, who hired her to sing on their demos.
  • Published a memoir in 2006 titled Redneck Woman: Stories From My Life.
  • Earned her G.E.D. at age 34 alongside her 21-year-old cousin. The experience prompted her to become an advocate for adult-education funding, and she received a National Coalition for Literacy Leadership Award in 2009.
  • Parted ways with Sony Music in 2009 and started her own record label, Redneck Records, with its first release her 2010 album I Got Your Country Right Here.
  • Supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Children's Miracle Network.


  • 2005, CMT Music Awards — Female Video of the Year: Winner
  • 2005, CMT Music Awards — Breakthrough Video of the Year: Winner
  • 2006, CMT Music Awards — Video of the Year: Nominee
  • 2005, CMT Music Awards — Video of the Year: Nominee
  • 2004, Grammy — Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Winner
  • 2007, CMT Music Awards — Female Video of the Year: Nominee


  • Vernon Heuer — Grandfather
  • Josh Malter — Half Brother
  • Grace Frances Penner — Daughter
  • Frances Heuer — Grandmother
  • Mike Penner — Ex-significant Other
  • Larry Rolens — Ex-husband


  • Birth Name: Gretchen Wilson
  • Birth Place: Granite City, IL
  • Profession: Singer, Songwriter

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