Gretchen Wilson Reveals How Faith Hill Inspired ‘Redneck Woman’
Since her breakout in the mid-2000s, Gretchen Wilson has been known as country music's whiskey drinking, butt-kicking, "Redneck Woman." But her inspiration for the career-making song is surprising.
It all started with a conversation with John Rich.
"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 tells Taste of Country. "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.'"
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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."
Needless to say, at the time, it worked. Wilson's 2004 album Here for the Party, which contained the title track and "Redneck Woman" as singles, sold 5 million copies. "Redneck Woman" hit No. 1 on May 29, 2004.
"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. 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."
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