To all appearances, Gretchen Wilson went overnight from a talented obscurity to a phenomenon. Her meteoric rise, the kind experienced by only a handful of artists in the past few decades, was that rare instance where talent and moment meet to form a cultural tidal wave. Still, she knows better than anyone the simple force that fueled it. “The reason I’ve been successful is that I’ve been genuine from the get-go,” she says, “and I continue to try to do that. I’m an open book”. It helps that the identity she wears so guilelessly is one that resonates strongly with fans of Country and Southern rock—the independent, take-no-guff, hard-working and hard playing country girl. Her first single “Redneck Woman” spent six weeks at number #1; her debut album, “Here For The Party”, sold more than five million copies; She won across-the-board awards including a Grammy and ACM, CMA and AMA nods for best female vocalist; She has also toured to large and raucous crowds around the world.