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Best Local Act Gone National 

Gretchen Wilson

Where's Pocahontas, Illinois? One answer is, "Thirty-odd miles south of St. Louis." Another answer -- and one you're more likely to hear these days -- is, "That's where Gretchen Wilson's from." The 31-year-old singer raced to the tippy-top of the country charts this past spring like a squirrel up an oak tree, powered by the raw jam "Redneck Woman." With lyrics like "And I keep my Christmas lights on on my front porch all year long/And I know all the words to every Charlie Daniels song," the song comes off like something between "I Am Woman" and a Jeff Foxworthy joke. It's white-trash empowerment in an age when most country is about as down-home as pommes frites and chicken-apple sausage. You might not know where Pocahontas is, but you know where Gretchen Wilson is coming from.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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