Ann WilsonVocals, guitar1973-
Nancy WilsonVocals, guitar1974-
Shortly before Heart's '80s resurgence, Nancy Wilson played "beautiful girl in car" in the 1982 movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. She had no dialogue, but did manage to marry the screenwriter, Cameron Crowe, in 1986. They had twin boys in 2000 and separated in 2008.
Ann and Nancy Wilson are sisters. Ann is four years older and considers herself the leader of Heart. The group has had a number of different lineups over the years, but the Wilson sisters are a constant.
Ann Wilson had a tumultuous affair with their sound manager, Mike Fisher - they lived together for nine years. At the same time, Nancy was with Fisher's brother Roger, who was the group's lead guitarist. In 1979, Ann was the one to fire Roger from the band.
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They used to own a studio in Seattle called Bad Animals. Soundgarden, REM, and Pearl Jam have all recorded there.
Ann and Nancy appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Singles as The Lovemongers, a real-life group they formed as a side project. The movie was directed by Cameron Crowe.
Ann once worked for Kentucky Fried Chicken. She thought of sending a platinum record to the restaurant's mascot, Colonel Sanders, because if she hadn't been fired, the group might not have been formed.
Their 1995 live album The Road Home was produced by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, who specifically requested they not cover any Led Zeppelin songs. They did, however, cover Joni Mitchell and Elton John, not to mention some of their originals. Early on, the band played a lot of Zeppelin songs.
When the band formed, they were known as The Army, and later White Heart. Nancy Wilson joined after she finished college in 1974 and the band was re-christened Heart.
The band moved to moved to Vancouver, British Columbia after manager Mike Fisher found out he was to be drafted by the United States Army and possibly sent to Vietnam. They signed a recording contract with Vancouver's Mushroom Records, and in 1975 released their debut progressive concept album Dreamboat Annie, which featured the hits "Crazy On You," "Magic Man" and the title track.
In 1977, the band gained popularity with the hits "Barracuda
," "Kick It Out" and "Little Queen." Their third album Magazine
was stillborn following the demise of Mushroom Records but was saved from the scrap heap by CBS Records who accommodated the band by reissuing it along with a now rare picture disc. The owner of Mushroom was so angry that he released Magazine
to keep their Little Queen
album from selling well. A judge ruled that he had to allow the band to remix the album and rerecord parts of it. Heart wanted it completely removed from the market.
Denny Carmassi had previously been a member of Sammy Hagar's backing band before joining Heart in 1981. Andes had played bass for Spirit.
Ann Wilson married communities manager Dean Wetter on April 25, 2015 in the backyard of her manager Carol Peters' Topanga, California home. "Dean and I first met in the '80s and went on a date where we both got smashed and I tried to seduce him," Wilson told People. "Like the gentleman he is, he declined. Years passed, we got back in touch after we had both grown up, and Pow! – It worked! Did it ever!"
Ann had a stuttering problem in junior high school and went for speech therapy. The stutter disappeared when she started singing.
Heart's manager and male bandmates implored Nancy to talk Ann into losing weight, arguing that the extra pounds were affecting the band's record sales. Nancy refused and instead helped her sister - who was picked on for her weight in high school - overcome stage fright and body-shaming-related panic attacks. According to the 2018 book Women Who Rock by Evelyn McDonnell, Nancy would stand nose-to-nose with Ann, saying, "Hello, hello, come back come back, come here come here, I'm with you, look at me, keep looking at me," and Ann would.
They've put their own stamp on many songs made famous with male vocalists. Some of their notable covers include "The Boxer
" (Simon & Garfunkel), "Unchained Melody
" (The Righteous Brothers), and "Tell It Like It Is
" (Aaron Neville), which they took to #8 in 1981.
But their best-known covers are of Led Zeppelin songs, which they often include in their setlists. In 2012, Ann and Nancy Wilson brought the house down when they played "Stairway To Heaven
" at the Kennedy Center Honors, where the members of Led Zeppelin were being feted. This version was released as a single and garnered over 70 million views on YouTube. Robert Plant, who has heard way too many bad covers of "Stairway," let Ann Wilson know she slayed it.
When asked to name their favorite Heart songs, Nancy cites "Mistral Wind
" from 1978 and Ann names "Crazy On You
" along with a deep cut: "Down On Me
," from their 1980 album Bébé le Strange
Asked by Songfacts
to name her favorite singers, Ann Wilson listed Joni Mitchell, Lucinda Williams, Robert Plant, John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, Robin Zander and Vince Gill. The two songwriters who most inspired her are Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon all the time. "Their lyrics are so inspiring and so well done," she said, naming Gabriel's "Mercy Street
" and "Don't Give Up
," and Simon's "Graceland
" and "Hearts And Bones
" as examples.