GRETCHEN WILSON TRIUMPHS OVER FAMILY HARDSHIPS

Gretchen Wilson's successes on the radio and stage are numerous. But before anyone ever knew who she was, she had her most important success-escaping a family pattern of addiction. "I think everybody in my family is an alcoholic except for my little brother," said Gretchen. "I think we were born alcoholics. My grandpa was an alcoholic, and he was a terrible alcoholic. He was the kind that got up at five o'clock every morning and opened a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and drank all day. I think it's in our family to be addictive personalities.

"I think I definitely went through stages in my life where I drank way too much," she added. "I've never had any kind of drug problem, and I really attribute a lot of that to being a witness to some of my mom's problems. I could see how hard everything was for her. I was her mom sometimes, and I was taking care of her."

Eventually Gretchen moved to Nashville at the age of 23, following her dream to be a country singer-and the rest is history.

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