"RED NECK WOMAN" COUNTRY MUSIC STAR GRETCHEN WILSON TALKS
OF MOVING FROM TRAILER TO TRAILER FOR LACK OF RENT MONEY DURING HER ROUGH CHILDHOOD ON "60 MINUTES," SUNDAY, DEC. 19
ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
Country music's newest sensation lived her early years moving from trailer to trailer because her bartender mother -- whom she had to take care of sometimes -- often couldn't pay the rent. Gretchen Wilson describes this part of her life to Ed Bradley for a profile of the singer to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Dec. 19 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
On a luxurious new tour bus much nicer than the trailers she grew up in, Wilson took Bradley and 60 MINUTES cameras on a tour of the area in Southern Illinois where she kept one step ahead of the landlord. "I lived on every side of the tracks [and moved often because] we couldn't pay the bills," she tells Bradley. "We couldn't make the rent, so we'd move. Most of the time [we lived in] trailers."
Wilson tells Bradley the moves forced her to attend about 20 schools before finally dropping out in the eighth grade to help her mother in the bar. Helping her mother sometimes meant looking after her when she was drunk. "I was her mom sometimes," says Wilson. "I remember�having to get her at the tavern. She wasn't capable of driving herself home," Wilson tells Bradley. "That made me mad�.I didn't want to get out of bed at midnight or 1:00 AM in the morning and go up there and get my mom."
The tavern is where her long road to stardom began, by playing guitar and singing in bar bands. The long road ended about seven months ago when her debut album went straight to number one on the country chart, earning an award from the Country Music Association and the American Music Award for best new artist; it has been nominated for four Grammy Awards.
Home is no longer a trailer for the 31-year-old hit-maker whose lyrics romanticize her rough life. Wilson and her mother now live in a brand new house outside Nashville. But a new home and a fancy tour bus haven't changed the decidedly unglamorous singer of hit songs "Here for the Party," "Cheat'n" and "Red Neck Woman." On her way up, some questioned that image. "My hair was 'dated.' I was a little bit too old. I was a few pounds too heavy," says Wilson. "[But] nothing's changed. I'm exactly that same person. Do I look good enough to sing? Yes." she tells Bradley.