Gretchen Wilson Was Completely Broke When Her Biggest Hit Was on the Charts
Gretchen Wilson scored a six-week No. 1 hit with her debut single, "Redneck Woman," but the country singer wasn't exactly living the high life at the time.
Wilson hit it big seemingly overnight when Epic Records released "Redneck Woman" as the lead single from her debut album, Here for the Party, in 2004. The song reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, and it also garnered Wilson a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. She won the CMA Horizon award in 2004, followed by Female Vocalist of the Year in 2005. But while her star was rising, Wilson recalls that she was financially worse off than ever.
"In fact, I was more broke, I think, than I'd ever been in my life," Wilson wrote in her 2007 autobiography, Redneck Woman: Stories From My Life. Her burgeoning career had forced her to drop the two jobs she had been earning her living from — bartending and singing demos — but the money that was owing from her success had not yet come in, forcing the rising star to support herself and her daughter on the relatively modest advances she had received against royalties during that period.
That's just one of the fascinating behind-the-scenes stories Taste of Country brought to light in an episode of the video series The Secret History of Country Music. Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and Kid Rock are among the artists already featured, with Dolly Parton and many more still to come. Be sure to subscribe to Taste of Country's YouTube channel so you never miss a new episode.
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