Gretchen Wilson is determined, and fearless. The "Redneck Woman" launched her own Redneck Records to release her music, including her latest Ready to Get Rowdy album in 2017, unaware that the label would eventually become the launching pad for another artist as well.
"I've had my own record label for several years now, and I thought I'd be the only artist on my label ever but I recently signed another female," Wilson told PopCulture.com. "I know. What was I thinking? A female label and two female artists pushing female singles at the same time. So, I have a single out right now called 'Stacy,' and my artist Jessie G who is the next generation of redneck women – you'll see when you get to see her live – she has a single out called 'Army Ranger,' that she wrote herself. We are just out there touring together and having fun and just taking it over."
Wilson knows firsthand the ongoing problem of females being shut out at radio, but with years of experience behind her, as well as fierce resilience inside of her, the Illinois native is undeterred.
"I think I'm just doing what I've always done and that's not take no for an answer," Wilson maintained. "When I know something's good and when I know it's deserving of being recognized, I just keep kicking on the door until somebody really opens it up and realizes that I know what I'm talking about here. I've been touring for a long time and I've heard a lot of really incredibly talented young women and men for that matter. None of them, even though they were so talented vocally, none of them have the work ethic and the kind of stage presence that I know that it takes to really have longevity in this career."
Wilson knew as soon as she met Jessie G that the rising star had what it took to succeed in the music business, and was determined to do whatever it took to help her get there.
"I met this lady and I was like, 'This is it,'" Wilson recalled. "She's young. She's 28 years old, not too young but young enough to have breathed a new just fire into me. I figured that I had learned all there was to learn about the music that I was going to make but she's got me rethinking everything because of her youth and her energy. And so, it's just been amazing to work with her."
For her part, Jessie G is continuing to learn as much as she can from Wilson, about music and about life.
"You know the biggest thing I've taken away from her is to be fearless, be authentic, be yourself, and just don't give up," Jessie G shared. Go out there and own it, rock people's faces off. I've learned so much from her. I love her."
Wilson was reportedly originally cast for Dancing With the Stars, before she bowed out due to her recent arrest in the Connecticut airport. The charges will be dropped if Wilson remains out of trouble with the law for 13 months following the date of her arrest. The country star also agreed to donate $500 to a charity for injured crime victims.
"I'm saddened by the whole thing," Wilson told Taste of Country. "I don't know that I could say — I mean, I'm embarrassed that the situation got to where it was, but not personally."
More information on Wilson can be found by visiting her website.
Photo Credit: Laura Gomez