"Happy 62nd Birthday"
Ann Dustin Wilson (born June 19, 1950) is an American musician, best known as the lead singer, flute player, songwriter, and occasional guitar player of the rock band Heart.
Wilson was born in San Diego, California. Her father was a colonel in the Marine Corps, and she moved frequently. Her family eventually settled in Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle, Washington. Shy because of a stutter, Wilson sought fulfillment in music. In the early 1970s she joined a local band, White Heart, which changed its name to Hocus Pocus, and then in 1974, to Heart.
During the 1970s, Ann Wilson was in a relationship with Michael Fisher, the manager of the band, while her younger sister Nancy was involved with lead guitarist Roger Fisher, Michael's younger brother. Both couples co-controlled the band. In 1979, both relationships ended; Ann stated that Michael had fallen in love with another woman and they parted. The song "Magic Man" was written about Michael and contains autobiographical lyrics about the beginning of their relationship.
(Heart beofre Ann & Nancy Joined, 1970~ LtoR ~Gary Ziegelman, LVox~Ron Rudge, Drums~Ken Hansen, Percussion~Roger Fisher, Gtr/Vox~Steve Fossen, Bass~James Cirrelllo, Gtr.)
Ann adopted her daughter Marie in 1991 and her son Dustin in 1998.
As a child, Ann was teased for being overweight. She revealed that in the 1970s and into the early 80's she would starve herself to stay thin. When Heart created a comeback in the mid-1980s, Ann had gained significant weight. Fearing it would compromise the band's image, record company executives and band members began pressuring her to lose weight. In music videos, camera angles and clothes were often used to minimize her weight, and more focus was put on her sister Nancy. Ann stated she began suffering from stress-related panic attacks due to the negative publicity surrounding her obesity. She underwent a weight-loss surgery called "adjustable gastric band" in January 2002 after what she calls "a lifelong battle" with her weight.
(Ann W. 1970's)
(Ann & Nancy, 1980's)
(Ann W. in the 80's)
In 1974 Ann's younger sister Nancy joined Heart, and the band moved to Canada. Heart recorded their first album Dreamboat Annie in Vancouver in 1975; it was released in the United States in 1976.
In 1977 Little Queen was released, and in 1978, Dog & Butterfly.
Ann also sang the duet "Almost Paradise" with Mike Reno in the movie Footloose from 1984 which reached number seven on Billboard's Hot 100.
In 1986 she released a solo single from the movie "The Golden Child" called "The Best Man in the World" which reached number sixty-one in the U.S.
She also had a hit in 1988-89 called "Surrender to Me" which was a duet with Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander, taken from the film Tequila Sunrise which reached number six in the U.S. singles chart.
In 1992 Ann appeared on Alice in Chains' EP Sap; she did vocals for "Brother", "Am I Inside" and "Love Song". In 1993, Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley contributed to vocals on "Ring Them Bells," a Bob Dylan cover from Heart's album Desire Walks On. In addition, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez and touring guitarist Scott Olson appeared on Heart's 2003 release Alive in Seattle.
Ann and Nancy started a recording studio, Bad Animals, in Seattle in the mid-1990s.
They formed a side band, The Lovemongers, which performed "The Battle of Evermore" on the 1992 soundtrack to the Cameron Crowe (Nancy's then husband) 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. That same year, she and sister Nancy were on stage for a series of concerts in Las Vegas. 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. Four singles were released from the project, "Little Problems, Little Lies", "Isolation" and "Immigrant Song".
The Hope & Glory version of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" is available on Ann's official MySpace page, and charted as "the #9 most podcasted song of 2007" on the PMC Top10's annual countdown. Ann's powerful, piercing voice led many to refer to her as "the female Robert Plant" (Led Zeppelin's lead vocalist).
Ann joined producer Alan Parsons in the 2001 live tribute tour to Beatles music called A Walk Down Abbey Road.
In June 2007 she sang with the group Sed Nove and Ian Gillan in the Festival of Music in Paris.
(Paris Music Festival)