History favors strong women.
When women stand up for themselves, show up, and speak out, change occurs time and time again, whether in politics, culture, entertainment, or music. There might be no women stronger–and louder–than the legendary ladies of HEART. Formed by sisters ANN and NANCY WILSON, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame®-inducted group not only pioneered the female-fronted rock band, for all intents and purposes, but they also soundtracked four decades and counting. Throughout this time, the band sold over 35 million records, garnered four GRAMMY® Award nominations, landed ten Top 10 albums, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and achieved “the longest span of top-10 albums on the Billboard charts by a female-led band.”
ANN and NANCY were both born in California and raised in Washington state and even early on, it was obvious that music would be their destiny. By ten-years-old, NANCY positioned herself as a future guitar virtuoso as ANN developed a bold, bluesy alto voice informed by an intense passion for the likes of Led Zeppelin. They formally become HEART in 1974 and transformed into a Pacific Northwest favorite in the process.
By 1975, they had recorded their seminal debut Dreamboat Annie. Bordering rock and heavy metal fastened with folk songcraft, the platinum breakthrough spent 100 weeks on the charts and spawned a string of smashes such as “Magic Man,” “Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child),” and “Crazy On You.” Signature hit “Barracuda” bared its teeth on the triple-platinum 1977 epic Little Queen. As the musicians sold out shows worldwide and continued their multiplatinum reign on Magazine, Dog & Butterfly, and Greatest Hits Live, they recorded the definitive self-titled Heart in 1985–ten years removed from Dreamboat Annie. Vaulting to superstar status, Heart bowed at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, went quintuple-platinum, earned a GRAMMY® Award nomination, and yielded “If Looks Could Kill,” “What About Love,” “Never,” and “These Dreams,” which captured the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, which features NANCY on lead vocals.
Maintaining this unparalleled momentum, Bad Animals followed in 1987, featuring the #1 hit “Alone,” and reaching triple-platinum status in addition to notching a pair of GRAMMY® Award nods. The double-platinum GRAMMY®-nominated Brigade ignited the nineties and served up the gold-certified “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You.” In 1993, Desire Walks On illuminated their shadow over the grunge explosion with a guest appearance from none other than Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley. 1995’s The Road Home represented a full circle moment as Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones helmed the gold-selling live disc. In between a handful of intermittent breaks, Greatest Hits 1985-2000  and Essential Heart  would both also be minted platinum over the next decade.
The aughts represented another watershed era for HEART. They revved back up to the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 200 with Red Velvet Car in 2010 as Fanatic soared to the Top 25 two years later. 2012 saw their first-ever memoir Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Soul arrive as a New York Times bestseller. Meanwhile, they brought the house down at that year’s Kennedy Center Honors, moving Robert Plant to tears during an historic rendition of “Stairway to Heaven.” HEART commemorated the 40th Anniversary of Dreamboat Annie with a 2016 festival and hosted a full celebration in the UK at the hallowed Royal Albert Hall. 2016 saw the release of BEAUTIFUL BROKEN, HEART’s sixteenth album and their first on Concord Records, the album saw the group “cherry picking” songs from their catalog and rerecording and rethinking them. Following the album’s release, HEART launched a summer headlining run with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick.
A new era has commenced in 2019. ANN and NANCY welcome a bevy of female powerhouses to join them on their biggest package tour to date–the “Love Alive” Summer Tour. HEART headlines a bill that includes Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, Elle King, and Lucie Silvas and rolls through major markets everywhere.
The group’s impact resounds far beyond the stage. ANN lent her voice to classic motion picture themes, spanning “Almost Paradise” from “Footloose,” “Best Man in the World” from “The Golden Child,” and “Surrender To Me” from “Tequila Sunrise.” In 2018, ANN released the critically acclaimed IMMORTAL album. It features 10 musically diverse tracks that pay tribute to some of ANN’s influences and friends who’ve recently passed and whose music poignantly lives on. She also performed solo dates and hit the road with Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers for the “Stars Align Tour.”
NANCY has also built a successful career as a film composer. Her composing credits include scores for the Cameron Crowe films: “Say Anything” (1989), “Almost Famous” (2000), “Vanilla Sky” (2001), “Elizabethtown” (2005), and “Jerry Maguire”(1995) [main theme]. Most recently, in 2017, NANCY teamed up with former Prince’s New Power Generation band member and R&B singer Liv Warfield to form the soulful, rock super group, Roadcase Royale. They released First Things First in September and the group went on to open for Bob Seger on his 2017 farewell tour.
Additionally, ANN and NANCY penned a 2015 children’s book, Dog & Butterfly, named after their smash of the same name. Giving back whenever possible, they stand out as committed philanthropists supporting nearly one-hundred charitable causes.
HEART’s influence can be palpably felt everywhere from rock and heavy metal to hip-hop and pop. Eminem, Lil Wayne, G-Eazy, Nas, and more have famously sampled the band’s catalog, while Céline Dion, Fergie, Halestorm and many others have covered them in the studio and on stage. As a result, their music resonates in nearly every corner of pop culture.
As time goes on, the sound, spirit, and soul of HEART only gets louder with each passing year. In the end, they ultimately opened doors for countless musicians to follow, and their place in rock’s pantheon as pioneers stands solidified forever
Co-founder, guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nancy Wilson of Heart releases her first EVER solo album, You and Me, TODAY via her new label, Carry On…Read More