Gretchen Wilson will don a cap and gown later this month, as she officially graduates from high school. The 34-year-old country star recently passed her GED exam. It was a challenge she took on for the sake of her 7 year-old daughter, Grace.

"I certainly don't want her to think you can be this successful without an education," Wilson told Nashville's Tennessean newspaper.

Wilson dropped out of school in the ninth grade. But she credits that decision as the driving force in her eventual career success.

"I don't think I'd be where I'm at today if I had stayed in school," she says. "I would have never followed the path that I followed. I may have been in the music business, but I don't think I would have been an artist. I don't think I'd have been pushy enough. I kind of had to get out there and start fighting and clawing my way through the world . . . and I think that's a lot of what it took for me to finally get that record deal."
Wilson is now hard at work on her fourth studio album. As for future studies, she hasn't ruled out college. But don't expect her to be strolling around a campus anytime soon.

"I'd do a home-school course, like those ones you see Sally Struthers doing on TV," she tells the Tennessean.

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