(Los Angeles) With over 30 million albums sold and such hit singles as “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On” “Dog & Butterfly,” “Never,” “These Dreams,” “Nothin’ At All” and “Alone,” the band Heart, led by Ann and Nancy Wilson, is one of the most successful and beloved acts in rock music history. First emerging in 1976 with their debut album Dreamboat Annie, the group eschews resting on their legendary stature and remains an active and artistically potent unit. In addition to forging Heart’s indelible mark in rock’n'roll, the Wilson sisters were also pioneer female rockers whose success and influence broke down the gender barrier for women to be bandleaders and musicians.
This summer, Heart embarks on a 50 date tour with fellow rockers Journey and Cheap Trick that begins on July 9 in Denver and wraps up on October 4th in Albuquerque (tour dates). The group will also be recording a new studio album of original material in 2008, their first since 2004′s Jupiter’s Darling, which “proves in spades that Heart is a vital and creative rock’n'roll unit and a force to be reckoned with,” notes All Music Guide, and is “easily the band’s finest moment in over 20 years.” The San Diego Tribune observed how it featured “some of the best songwriting ever from the group” and “is a welcome return to form,” while England’s Classic Rock magazine said that Jupiter’s Darling is “the only album you need to buy this year.”
On April 9, Ann & Nancy Wilson will also be joining Bono, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Fergie, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Annie Lennox, John Legend and Snoop Dogg on the “American Idol” charity fundraising special “Idol Gives Back” broadcast on Fox. The Wilsons will perform their classic hit song “Barracuda” with Fergie on the gala show.
Last May, Heart were the debut artists on DirecTV’s “Legendary Albums Live” series, performing Dreamboat Annie in its entirety in concert at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles as well as an encore that included their song “Mistral Wind” (from Dog & Butterfly) and covers of songs by Led Zeppelin (“Black Dog” and “Misty Mountain Hop”), The Who (“Love, Reign O’er Me”) and Pink Floyd (“Goodbye Blue Sky”). The concert was released on CD and DVD by Shout! Factory last October.
In addition to keeping Heart at the forefront of the contemporary rock’n'roll scene for 32 years, the Wilson sisters have also worked on a variety of solo and side projects (including their band The Lovemongers). Their stature as rock legends was affirmed last year when they appeared on the “VH1 Rock Honors” TV special and were awarded lifetime achievement rings for their musical contributions.
On September 11 of last year, Ann Wilson released her first solo album Hope & Glory, a work of both personal and political resonance which features such notable guests as Elton John, k.d. lang, Alison Krauss, Gretchen Wilson, Shawn Colvin, Rufus Wainwright, Wynonna, Deana Carter and Nancy Wilson on a set of songs by Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, The Youngbloods, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Animals and Lucinda Williams as well as her own Iraq war protest song “Little Problems, Little Lies.” The collection of material by some of the greatest contemporary musical poets reflects on the issues of war, peace and sacrifice, influenced by Ann’s perspective of being raised in a military family. The album “is all about standing on the edge,” Ann writes in The Huffington Post. “Each one of the songs was written at a time when the abyss yawned and it seemed certain that we were about to tumble tragically into it. Whether we did or didn’t fall is unknown, because at present we are immersed in a world too violent and commercial to tell.” Amazon.com praises Hope & Glory as “an artful account of the suffering and devastation that all war and economic downturn brings.”
Nancy Wilson composes and performs film scores and writes and produces songs for such movies by her husband Cameron Crowe as “Jerry Maguire,” “Almost Famous,” “Vanilla Sky” and “Elizabethtown” along with musical contributions to other films and appearing in the movies “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “The Wild Life.” She released a solo album in 1999, Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop, is recording a track for the soon to be released Martin Guitars tribute album, My Favorite Martin, and will be featured in the upcoming documentary film about rock guitarists, “Turn It Up.”
With more than three decades of creating classic rock’n'roll behind them, Ann and Nancy Wilson and Heart show no signs of slowing down, continuing to add to their considerable musical legacy with an artistic energy that remains as strong as when they started out.
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