1950 – Ann Wilson of Heart is born in San Diego this day in rock history!
When she was a child, Wilson’s family moved around because her father was a Marine Corps colonel. The family eventually settled in Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle, Washington. Shy due to a stutter, Wilson turned to music, and in the early 1970s she joined a local band, Whiteheart, which, in 1974, changed its name to Heart.
Ann adopted her daughter Marie in 1991 and her son Dustin in 1998. She underwent a weight-loss surgery called Adjustable gastric band in January 2002 after what she calls “a lifelong battle” with her weight.
In 1974, Ann’s younger sister Nancy joined Heart. The band moved to Canada, and cut their first album Dreamboat Annie in Vancouver in 1975; it was released in the United States in 1976. In 1977, Little Queen was released. Ann also sang the duet “Almost Paradise” with Mike Reno in the movie Footloose. She also had a hit with “Surrender To Me” in 1989, a duet with Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander, which reached #6 in the U.S.
Ann and Nancy started a recording studio, Bad Animals, in Seattle in the mid-1990s. They formed a side band, The Lovemongers, which performed Battle of Evermore on the soundtrack to brother-in-law Cameron Crowe’s 1992 movie Singles, and later released a four-song EP. The Lovemongers’ debut album Whirlygig was released in 1997.
In 2006, Ann began recording her first solo album, Hope & Glory, produced by Ben Mink, and released by the Rounder (Zoe) Music Group on September 11, 2007. Hope & Glory features guest appearances from Elton John, k.d. lang, Alison Krauss, Gretchen Wilson, Shawn Colvin, Rufus Wainwright, Wynonna Judd and Deana Carter. Ann’s sister, Nancy, also contributed.
The Hope & Glory version of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” is available on Ann’s Official My Space page, and charted as “the #9 most podcasted song of 2007” on the PMC Top10’s annual countdown.
In June 2007 she sang with the group Sed Nove and Ian Gillan in the Festival of Music in Paris.