Anne Wilson says her parents still can't believe it. Their little girl went from a wannabe astronaut to a full-fledged, Grammy-nominated vocal powerhouse in the blink of an eye.

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That's hardly an exaggeration. One very tragic, very sudden event forced Wilson to the "stage," and she's not left since. Her new studio album Rebel finds her merging Christian and country music genres in a way she says will stick.

"I’m not gonna fit in a box of Christian music or country music," she tells Taste of Country. "I’m just going to be who I am, and the songs will fit where they fit."

  • Anne Wilson's Rebel drops on April 19.
  • Her My Jesus album (2022) was nominated for a Grammy and GMA/Dove Award, while the title track earned her a Billboard Music Award nod.
  • She calls Lainey Wilson a very good friend. "We've always said we were the long-lost Wilson sisters," she'll joke of her "Praying Woman" duet partner.

Related: The Best Faith-Filled Country Songs

Who Is Anne Wilson?

Anne Wilson was born in 2002 and raised in Lexington, Ky. She grew up with both parents and two older siblings, brother Jacob and sister Elizabeth. As a young girl she learned piano, but says she sang so rarely that she can't even remember a specific performance.

As a young girl, Wilson became a devout Christian, and her relationship with God has only strengthened since. She was also fiercely attracted to secular music, especially the classic country sounds of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.

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"I loved the way his songs were produced," she tells TOC Nights' Evan Paul. "You can hear the instruments. The way that they were produced is so different from how music is now."

Anne Wilson, Christian Singer:

In 2019, Wilson signed a recording contract with Capitol Christian Music Group and dropped "My Jesus" two years later. The song would become a No. 1 Christian hit, leading to continued success in the nonsecular community.

A New Artist of the Year win at the 2022 GMA/Dove Awards stands out as a career highlight. She says her new album doesn't reflect a change as much as continued growth.

"God is definitely a part of country music, always has been," Wilson says when asked for similarities between genres. "The differences would maybe be, in Christian music there’s these fine lines between writing songs about worship songs — which are really songs to God — and songs about God. I write songs about God and faith."

"I think there’s always going to be something against something. For me it’s like I’m just here to do my thing. And people can judge, they can say whatever."

What Happened to Anne Wilson's Brother?

Anne Wilson found her voice at her brother Jacob's funeral. He died in a car accident in June 2017, leaving the family shattered to the point that soon after, the whole family considered suicide by driving off a bridge.

"That was a really impactful moment for our family," she shares. "It was all four of us together in a car. Yeah, it was just a moment where we were like, 'Yeah. We gotta keep going. As hard as it is, as much as we don’t want to be here anymore, we’ve got to keep going.'"

The song Wilson sang for her brother was "What a Beautiful Name," and she'll still sit down in front of a piano and play it at concerts today. Often, you'll find her parents in the crowd or side-stage, mouths ajar.

“They definitely are like, blown away," she says. "They come to my concerts all the time, and they look at me like, ‘How are you doing this? Where did this come from?'"

Did Anne Wilson Go Country?

Anne Wilson hasn't made any kind of declaration about her musical intent, but the new Rebel album is being promoted as a multi-genre project, and she was named as one of CMT's Next Women of Country. The 16 songs include tracks with Lainey Wilson and country hitmaker Jordan Davis, but also Christian singer Chris Tomlin.

Most won't hear Parton and Cash when they listen to her arrangements or vocal stylings, but some will. She says she leaned into a producer's role to make sure each instrument came through the speakers separated.

What about the people bothered that she's singing about a man who sang about so much sin?

"I think there’s always going to be something against something. For me it’s like I’m just here to do my thing. And people can judge, they can say whatever."

100 Faith-Filled Country Songs to Lift Your Soul

One thing country music has never shied away from is songs about faith. From Bible belt gospel tracks to songs thanking Jesus for His blessings in life, country music has written about it all. Here are 100 faith-filled country songs that will set your thoughts on Heaven above.