- 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.
- 2004, Grammy — Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Winner
- 2006, CMT Music Awards — Video of the Year: Nominee
- 2005, CMT Music Awards — Video of the Year: Nominee
- 2005, CMT Music Awards — Female Video of the Year: Winner
- 2005, CMT Music Awards — Breakthrough Video of the Year: Winner
- 2007, CMT Music Awards — Female Video of the Year: Nominee
- Vernon Heuer — Grandfather
- Larry Rolens — Ex-husband
- Josh Malter — Half Brother
- Mike Penner — Ex-significant Other
- Grace Frances Penner — Daughter
- Frances Heuer — Grandmother
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