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Gretchen Wilson Loves Harry Styles

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Who would have thought when we first heard Gretchen Wilson declare herself a “Redneck Woman” that she’d one day be declaring her admiration for a former boyband frontman?

Well, stranger things have happened. In a new interview with Rolling Stone Country, Wilson admits she is all-in for One Direction’s Harry Styles and his solo sound.

“You listen to Harry Styles’ new album and it is real. There are no machines. You can tell that the band speeds up, slows down. It’s real songwriting, singing and is almost like listening to vinyl in the seventies. I love it,” she says.

Wilson has a daughter, who she says turned her on to Styles and his four buds. “I’ve driven all the way across this country to go to One Direction concerts,” Wilson admits. But there’s something about Styles’ new music that she says gives her hope about the future of country music: it’s something real.

“Country music swings so often and every few years it goes back to more traditional stuff. I think kids are going back toward something real, rather than something manufactured. And that is what gives me hope,” she shares.

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With the advent of artists like Chris Stapleton, Maren Morris and Sturgill Simpson, she may be onto something. Though it’s been a while since her “Redneck Woman” heyday, the artist has been consistently working on and releasing music, raising her daughter and living content.

“Do you know how many times I heard, ‘You’re going to step away for three years? This may not be here for you!'” she relates. “But I can go sling drinks at the local tavern and live in a mobile home. I’m just me. And I never let anybody tell me what to do. I do what is right for me and those closest to me.”

Wilson’s new record, Ready to Get Rowdy, includes 12 tracks, each of which she co-wrote, including a duet with Kid Rock. It’s called “Bad Feeling,” and she actually wrote about him.

“It was written about him and a situation I saw him in with his now fiancée. At the time things weren’t looking good, and I saw him at an awards ceremony and he was looking like a lost puppy dog. I said, ‘What did you do?’ I never got into specifics with either of them about what happened, but I went home that night and just imagined what was going through his head and her head,” Wilson says. “But that’s not what’s happening in his world ­– his fiancée has a beautiful rock on.”

Ready to Get Rowdy dropped June 16. The most recent single, “Summertime Town,” shows a more mellow side of the usually-raucous Wilson and follows the first single, appropriately titled “Rowdy.”

6 Super Forgettable Country Crossovers

Next: How Faith Hill Inspired 'Redneck Woman'

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