Gretchen Wilson Reveals How Faith Hill Inspired 'Redneck Woman'

Gretchen Wilson released "Redneck Woman" in 2004, and the no-nonsense anthem quickly became a massive hit, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country songs chart and No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In a new interview with Taste of Country, Wilson revealed that country superstar Faith Hill actually served as the inspiration for the track, which Wilson wrote with John Rich.

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(Photo: Getty / Jon Kopaloff)

"The day that we wrote 'Redneck Woman' was a day that John and I were sitting around watching country music videos and Faith Hill's 'Breathe' was on," Wilson recalled. "She's gorgeous. She looks like a supermodel. She's rolling around in satin sheets. And that was the inspiration behind 'Redneck Woman.' I looked at John and said, 'This is probably never gonna happen for me because I'll never look like that, and I'll never be that. That is just not the kind of woman I am.' He looked at me [and asked], 'Well, what kind of woman are you then?' And I said, 'I'm a redneck woman.' Then he said, 'What's the matter with that?' We, at that moment, decided to be as authentic as we could about that kind of a woman, and I felt like it was a responsibility almost at that point to speak to those girls who felt like me."

"Redneck Woman" is considered Wilson's signature song and won her the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2005. The song was the lead single for Wilson's 2004 debut album Here for the Party, which went to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album's title track also became one of Wilson's biggest songs, and the 46-year-old attributes that success to her relatability to many country fans. "The reason why I became successful in the first place is I think women — and maybe some men — they accepted me because I was a voice that was speaking to them about them," she said. "For a long time, I feel like in country music, women had gotten so slick and soft and pretty. So being authentic and being real, that is what got me to this dance."