By Emily Wagner
It’s safe to say that Gretchen Wilson came onto the country scene, guns blazing, ready to show the world just what a country girl was all about.
Her debut single, “Redneck Woman” not only catapulted Wilson into instant stardom, it would also go on to win her a Grammy for Best Country Female Vocal Performance.
Gretchen wrote the song with John Rich, and the two of them, along with Rich’s other half of Big and Rich, Big Kenny, would collaborate on many other projects on Wilson’s debut album Here For The Party.
When “Redneck Woman” reached the top of the charts in 2004 (and stayed there for 5 weeks), it was the first number one song by a solo female act since Martina McBride reached it with “Blessed”, two years prior. It was also the first number one for the record label, Epic Records Nashville, since 1998 with Alan Jackson’s “It Must Be Love”.
“Redneck Woman” would be Wilson’s first and last #1 hit, at least as of April 2020. The song though, has become an anthem for women (and men) everywhere. It’s a song that has inked itself into country music fame. Who doesn’t still know all the words? Or at least knows when to give the mighty “hell yeah” back to Gretchen?
It was as good as a song as any to introduce fans to country’s latest female act. Gretchen’s unapologetic “this is me attitude” won over a lot of fans, and filled a gap in country music that nobody knew was missing.