Heart Artistfacts

  • 1973-
    Ann WilsonVocals, guitar1973-
    Nancy WilsonVocals, guitar1974-
    Roger FisherGuitar1973-1979
    Howard LeeseKeyboards1973-
    Michael DerosierDrums1970-1981
    Steve FossenBass1970-1981
    Denny CarmassiDrums1981-1993
    Mark AndesBass1981-1993
    Fernando SaundersBass1993-
    Denny FongheiserDrums1993-
  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jessica - Cleveland, OH
  • 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.

Comments: 15

  • Syd from MelbourneAlways has a crush on Ann Wilson, she is a awesome singer.
  • Lynn from IndianaWhy is there no acknowledgement of the actors in the Heart video, All I Wanna Do? Would like to know the name of the couple who acted in that video...the pretty girl and the handsome hitchhiker!! Does anyone know?
  • Tania from Brisbane, AustraliaAnn & Nancy are Rock goddesses!
  • Brian from DentonAnissa from Pittsburgh: No it wasn't about Charles Manson. That is an idiotic rumor. Magic Man was about Michael Fisher.
  • Steve from Bonner Spgs, KsI've always heard "Magic Man" was about Mike Fisher, to include interviews with Ann Wilson, and never heard the Manson thing until a minute ago. Heart has had to endure a lot of bad and inaccurate press over the years and I guess that was just one more smear. It's always easier to think something bad about someone.
    It's OK Jim, don't believe the lies.
  • Anissa from Pittsburgh, PaActually the song "Magic Man" was about Charles Manson!!
  • Russ from Meridian, IdIN Response to gina walnut cove NC, Ann Was not seeing Roger Fisher, Magic Man is about Mike Fisher his brother and Manager of Heart at the time. Ann was seeing Mike.
    Russ Meridian ID
  • Paul from Detroit, MiAn additional fact that not a lot of people know is that Heart was a very "commercialized" version of themselves throughout the 80s. They had a lot of chart and sales success during this time, but the image that was portrayed (the big hair, the make-up, and Nancy's ample display of cleavage in videos, etc.) was not one they would have chosen for themselves.
  • Paul from Detroit, MiAnn and Nancy Wilson are both accomplished musicians in their own right. I saw an acoustical tour they did in, I believe, 1999 or 2000 where it was just the two of them on stage - no back-up band, no karaoke machine (LOL). It was a phenomenal concert. Ann, who usually sings lead vocals on most of their works, also plays several instruments. Nancy is more instrumentally talented than her sister in the number and variety of instruments she plays, and nearly as gifted vocally.
  • Ben from Nyc, MsJefferson Mets Led Zeppelin. Beautiful
  • Aj from Cleveland, GaHeart is awesome.. chicks rocking out!
  • Joel from Baton Rouge, LaThe above comments about "Magazine" are not correct. Heart left Mushroom Records after their porducer Mike Flicker left for CBS/Portrait. A rider in Heart's contract with Mushroom seemingly allowed this but Mushroom retailiated anyway by releasing - on their own - the unfinished recordings for what was intended to be the second LP for Mushroom - "Magazine". Rolf Hennemann did the final mixing of what had been recorded and added a few live tracks and on old completed recording from '73. Released in 1977, about 50,000 copies were pressed before Heart's lawsuit stopped it. Arista Records pressed some in Holland for the European market too. They were "recalled" from the stores and radio stations in the US and Canada, but many already sold. However the settlement was arrived at, Heart was able to re-mix and finish recording (including mostly new vocals) "Magazine" in the studio on March 6-9, 1978. Mushroom was allowed to re-release the LP in 1978. Mushroom went bankrupt in 1980. Mushroom Studios (called Can-Base during those "Dreamboat Annie" and "Magazine" recording sessions), the recording facility, is still in business.
  • Gina from Walnut Cove, NcThe song "Magic Man" wasn't about Charles Manson. The song was about her (ann's) affiar with the guitarist mike fisher. thats what the song is all about.
    love flower child
  • Jim from Oil City, PaAlthough I am a huge Heart fan, and think Ann has the greatest voice of all time. I have been always turned off by the fact Magic Man was written about Charles Manson. After all these years am I hearing this was not true? What a fool I have been.
  • Bryan from Colorado Springs, CoAnn and Nancy Wilson sold Bad Animals in Seattle back in 1997. Some of their staff engineers bought them out.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Donald Fagen

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.

Shawn Mullins

Shawn MullinsSongwriter Interviews

"Lullaby" singer Shawn Mullins on "Beautiful Wreck," beating the Devil, and his writing credit on the Zac Brown Band song "Toes."

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Carl Sturken

Carl SturkenSongwriter Interviews

Hitmaker Carl Sturken on writing and producing for Rihanna, 'N Sync, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Donny Osmond, Shakira and Karyn White.

Dean Pitchford

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

Why Does Everybody Hate Nu-Metal? Your Metal Questions Answered

Why Does Everybody Hate Nu-Metal? Your Metal Questions AnsweredSong Writing

10 Questions for the author of Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces