Gretchen Wilson Reminds Kanye West She Was His First
Kanye West made headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2009, after his rude interruption of Taylor Swift‘s acceptance speech during the MTV Video Music Awards. But another country star was the first to be subjected to the rapper’s rants, before Taylor was even old enough to drive.
Gretchen Wilson beat out Kanye and Maroon 5 to take home the American Music Award in 2004 for Favorite Breakthrough Artist. It was a loss the rapper didn’t take quietly. “I felt like I was definitely robbed,” he declared after the ceremony. “I was the best new artist this year.”
The incident may have happened over six years ago, but the ‘Redneck Woman’ singer still has strong feelings about it. “I think he’s an ass for acting like that,” Gretchen tells CMT. “He really is. He makes quite a spectacle. Grow up! Quit being such a baby! If somebody beats you, it’s because they deserve to beat you. And I don’t know if you remember all the way back to the first time — I outsold you, bro! Do your homework.”
The Grammy winner (and current nominee) says she wasn’t intimidated by Kanye’s pompous claims then, nor is she intimidated by him now. “It’s kinda cool for me to know that I was the first,” Gretchen admits. “Kanye, just remember, I was your first. And I’m not above kicking your ass.”
She’s also not above putting her music up against the material of other more mainstream artists. “I have learned over the last six years that the most important thing is the show itself, not all of the drama, not whether you can paint yourself up like Lady Gaga,” Gretchen tells The Boot. “You need to kick their butts with the music and the energy and that’s what we do with this group. You wouldn’t call it an easy show with Gretchen Wilson; It’s more like a Lynyrd Skynyrd show that leans toward southern rock energy. We play songs they are familiar with, new songs and really rock ‘n’ roll.”
Gretchen will hit the road in February for several dates, including stops in Mississippi, Minnesota and California. See her tour schedule here.