Hello Reddit! I am Ann Wilson, singer, songwriter, musician, from the band Heart. I'm also currently touring with my side project, the ann wilson thing.

I'm looking forward to your questions -- so go ahead, ask me anything!

PROOF: https://twitter.com/officialheart/status/644279603943505922

PHOTO PROOF: http://imgur.com/D1VoS85

Edit: Heading out now - be sure to pick up the ann wilson things new EP #1 on itunes or purchase in our store! Thank you for all your questions, it was better than fun!

Comments: 1109 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

jjjaaammm1233 karma

How did it feel to rock out one of the best Stairways in front of the legends themselves?

annwilsonmusic865 karma

It was really thrilling and hard to believe -- very surreal.

hobbyhorsemusic358 karma

Hi Ann - Your vocals sound better and better over the years. Do you do vocal exercises? If so, are there any that are your favorites?

annwilsonmusic498 karma

Thank you very much! I feel really blessed to have a body that has the stamina to withstand all the years, because the type of singing is strenuous. I usually don't do formal exercise, but I usually sing along with someone else's CD before I go onstage, like Emilou Harris, Alison Krause, Chris Whitley, and lately I've been listening to a lot of Bob Marley, and singing along.

Rubyshoes40337 karma

Hi Ann! You and Nancy are the reason I play and teach music today. Thank you for that. My question for you is, Do you write music or lyrics first when songwriting?

annwilsonmusic331 karma

Each song is different, but generally, I think the lyrics come first, and the music second. Right now Heart is working on a song where the music comes first, and it's a whole different process... It's a lot more complicated.

annwilsonmusic280 karma

Thank you so much for your questions, and taking time out of your day. I love you guys, this was better than fun! It's good to be in touch.

evocacion229 karma

Hi! You being one of the top ten best rock'n'roll singers of all time. Has any body come to you telling you how you inspirer them to become a musician, that you did not expected from? Sorry spanish is my first language.

annwilsonmusic422 karma

The guys in Alice in Chains... There have been a few people over the years who I didn't even think would even care about Heart, who told me I inspired them.

trixievox181 karma

I am in a Heart Tribute band in St. Louis - I am Ann. (I Wish) My question has to do with your voice. I have read your book, watched you in many interviews...When you are not touring - how often do you sing? You have such amazing control, and command of your voice. Singing like you is the hardest gig I have ever taken on in my 30 year career. I know you always say no alcohol…

annwilsonmusic140 karma

Thank you! I don't spend a whole lot of time singing. I like to sing along to things I'm listening to, sometimes. But I never sing in the shower.

Naniface159 karma

Do you sing along to Magic Man when it comes on the radio? Also, what was your inspiration for creating the Ann Wilson Thing?

annwilsonmusic154 karma

I can say I have never sung to it on the radio... My inspiration for creating the ann wilson thing was to provide another outlet for myself and other musicians to my choosing. I also wanted to give Heart fans another place to go. And, I wanted to push myself creatively.

backspace93137 karma

Ann! Big fan, wanted to say hello! My question is, do you like when fans come up to you in crowds or is it bothersome? Also, any really crazy things happen to you when a fan meeting you?

annwilsonmusic189 karma

Yes, I like it when people say hello, and I also like it when they understand that I have boundaries, like anybody else. But, yeah, I like to be friendly. As long as they're cool I'm cool.... Second question: People generally have gone through some kind of security check... but people can be really goofy, and really shaky. And I can understand that. I think I would be like that if I met somebody famous who inspired me.

sewa9783 karma

Is there anyone you would still act this way about at this point in your life?

annwilsonmusic205 karma

Barrack Obama, Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, and Gloria Steinem.

notphoebebuffay119 karma

Hi! What was the first concert you ever attended? :)

annwilsonmusic346 karma

Oh, boy. So, what I'm about to say is going to be really hard for anyone to understand except people in their 60s. Chubby Checker and Martha and Vandellas, at a movie theater in Seattle, Washington. My first big arena show was the Beatles in Seattle, in 1966.

mishiavelli110 karma

Is there a singer that has always been a vocal idol to you?

annwilsonmusic211 karma

Aretha Franklin

lorlor32198 karma

I'm a 16 year old die hard fan of yours! How do you feel about the fact that your music is being passed down to younger generations and is still being enjoyed by all ages, nearly 40 years after the release of your first album?

annwilsonmusic131 karma

I think that is really incredible. I love that, it makes me feel really good that people would turn their kids and grandkids to it. It's fantastic.

Naniface98 karma

Do you remember the moment when you knew you had truly made it?

annwilsonmusic233 karma

Hmm... Well, one would have to say that being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would mean you made it. Also, hearing yourself in an elevator feels like you made it. But I feel like the journey there is what makes it important, not so much arriving.

ViscousZeta97 karma

Hello and thanks for the AMA!

Black on Black II is one of my favorite Heart songs. Is there a Black on Black I? I can't seem to find it and it's bothering me.

annwilsonmusic153 karma

Yes, there is. It's not on a Heart album, it's on an album by an artist named Lisa Dalbello.

Geekiss3xy91 karma

Hello! Thank you for the AMA! What has been the best memory you have from your career so far?

annwilsonmusic180 karma

Playing at the Kennedy center was a huge honor. The audience was full of so many illustrious people, it was almost too much to believe. Also, our first big arena show, opening for Rod Stewart, was very memorable.

Slewis196791 karma

Hey Ann, I'm a new fan. I would like to know what has getting married later in life meant to you and how (if applicable) has it changed you as an artist? Also, thanks for giving us single ladies that are a little older hope!!

annwilsonmusic181 karma

It really has been the realization of a miracle to me. I was convinced it wasn't going to happen to me. I had made it okay with myself, that I wasn't going to get married. And now, I have a soulmate. It's a stunning, astounding experience. As an artist, I'm a lot more empowered on stage. I feel strong in myself and happier in myself. They tell me I'm moving my hips more.

Dreamboat-Annie72 karma

My mom took me to see Heart for the first time when I was 5 years old and you've simply been my favorite band ever since. I remember you came out on stage and I had no idea who you were but your voice just absolutely blew me away. You have amazing range and I've never heard anything like it since. Your music has meant a great deal to me and my cousin Heather over the years. We were both severely abused growing up and listening to your music was our way of escaping what was going on at home. I've seen Heart 7 times in concert and she has seen you twice now now and each time I keep telling my cousin Heather that we need to get the backstage passes so we can meet you in person and tell you how much your music has meant to us, but whenever you come to town we always have something going on financially that prevents us from spending the extra money. My cousin's birthday is coming up in a few days and I was wondering if you'd wish Heather Kauffman a happy birthday. It would mean so much to her! We both look forward to hearing the Ann Wilson Thing when it is released and look forward to seeing you when you come through town. What is your favorite book or book series?

annwilsonmusic109 karma

Happy Birthday, Heather! It's stories like that, that are really moving to me -- people who have gotten some kind of help out of our music, where our music has come in and helped them. What part of the country do you two live in? Send me a private message... maybe if we are ever in your neck of the woods...

I love Hafez (Persian poet).

jjjaaammm71 karma

Dogs or Butterflies?

annwilsonmusic108 karma


JJoker111761 karma

Hi Ann! Love your work. My Dad basically only listens to your cover of Stairway! How did your friends/family at home react when you became really famous? I'm always interested in that aspect of fame

annwilsonmusic80 karma

Our father was really proud, and our mom was, too, but she was a little more restrained in her enthusiasm, because she had two out of three daughters going into it.

Vulphere60 karma

Hello Ann, what's your favorite food ?

annwilsonmusic167 karma

Rice! You can mix anything with it.

GoldenGrlz52 karma

Hi Ann! Congrats on your recent marriage! I read a passing mention in People about you trying to seduce Dean in the 1980s and he, being a gentleman, turned you down. I want to know more! How did you guys reconnect? Do you joke about that ill-fated date in the 80s? How is married life treating you and how does Dean handle the hard core mongers/fans who now recognize him?

annwilsonmusic117 karma

Hahaha! Dean's a real gentleman, and even back then, when we were in our 30s, he was a gentleman. I didn't know that, and was just this rock and roll chick. We went out to a Japanese restaurant, and drank a lot of sake. We went home, and I tried to seduce him, and he freaked out. Later, he sent me a card, and a pair of gloves as a gift. I sent him a card back, saying thank you for the gloves, and bye bye. We went on and lived our lives. About a year ago, we reconnected. The magnetism was so strong. We really haven't been apart since we reconnected. See, all I had to do was wait -- for 40 years.... And married life is fine, thank you!

Dr89452 karma

Favorite Led Zeppelin song?

annwilsonmusic127 karma

The Rain Song

shinygal148 karma

What is your favorite album you did with Heart?

annwilsonmusic74 karma

Hmm. Well, you know, I don't base it on record sales, I base it on my experience making it. My favorite one was fanatic.

warrtyme39 karma

Ann, how do you think the treatment of female artists has changed over the years?

annwilsonmusic91 karma

The treatment of female artists is better, but a lot of the same old "rules" still apply. You have to be beautiful, young, and do everything guys can do, backwards and in high heels. Show business is hard because people pay what they want to see, and they don't pay to see the "average" person. But having said that, we have some really talented women who are out there. And we have older women like myself, Annie Lennox, Joan Jett, Chrissy Hynde.

Just_a_Fanatic39 karma

I’m so glad George reminded me of the AMA! As Heart you guys still do a ton of old hits – are there any Heart songs from the past that you wouldn't mind never having to sing again?


annwilsonmusic58 karma

Oh, yeah! Many... I'm not going to say which ones, but when those songs come up, and they get a groan from the band, they go on the shelf for awhile.

Just_a_Fanatic38 karma

Hi Ann! First – thanks for doing this – and thanks for sharing your voice and your music with the world. My question: It seems you’re always asked about Barracuda (especially after the GOP usage thing) so we know the story there- but going forward a few years - I’d love to know the story behind “Skin and Bones” from Fanatic. And is the song "Sand" from Red velvet Car about Layne Stayley?

annwilsonmusic56 karma

Skin and Bones was written about a bus driver we used to have, named Jerry Don Borden, who at the time was really skinny... A big arm full of bracelets, a really good driver, and a really good friend of mine. He an I were driving across the country to meet with Heart. I just had days to write. I remember looking out the window in New Mexico or something, and saw him walking out, and he looked like an old mule out there, just skin and bones. It was a quirky ode to a buddy.

boogie26636 karma

Hi Ann, Ann monger here reporting for duty...

You started out singing in small clubs and venues 40 plus years ago to larger venues all over the world......Was it a difficult transition on Monday going from larger venues with Heart to a smaller one with theannwilsonthing?

The setlist was amazing. Thanks for continuing to tour...

annwilsonmusic45 karma

No, it was a lot of fun. I go back and forth, so all my needs can be met.

PointMan52849131 karma

What was/is the hardest aspect of being a part of such a famous musical group?

annwilsonmusic67 karma

The hardest aspect would be keeping it authentic and relevant. Keeping it real.

DimensionPizza26 karma

What's your favorite flavor of Jellybean? Favorite candy in general?

annwilsonmusic58 karma

Hmm. My favorite jelly bean flavor is lemon lime. My favorite candy is butterscotch.

RobinzinLA22 karma

Can you elaborate on the East Indian influences that are so stunningly beautiful in "Heaven"?

annwilsonmusic45 karma

Yeah, that song is just built on a melodic minor scale, or in other words, that's the scale we westerners most associate with eastern sounding music. That music is built on a drone. That's why it has that beautiful "exotic" sound to it.

Nancers218 karma

How do your kids and new husband handle you being out on the road so much?

annwilsonmusic39 karma

My one and only ever husband, Dean, comes out on the road with me. And when we're not touring, we are traveling together. My oldest daughter is married and has kids of her own, so she's used to me being on the road. My son is a senior in high school, and we don't get to see each other enough, and that's tough. But he handles it well.

lfogo517 karma

How is the tour for the Ann Wilson thing going?

annwilsonmusic18 karma

Well, so far we've only done one show, so it's been perfect! Haha! We're looking forward to going to the East Coast next. It's going to be a blast.

WESA_Deanna15 karma

What is your favorite thing about performing for a large audience? What about a small audience? When we are flailing like mad women in the first two rows – do you guys actually see us? How are the audiences different for a Heart show and an Ann Wilson thing show?

annwilsonmusic16 karma

the ann wilson thing audience is a much more intimate situation than those at Heart shows. the ann wilson thing experience is a much more intimate and art-orientated situation, and the Heart crowd is more rock and roll.

boogie26615 karma

Love hearing Nancy on Aint no Way...Glad you decided to keep the live version of that song on the NEW EP.

I love the EP so much!" Fool no more" is a magnificent song. Are there plans to incorporate/add more original songs (vs covers) during this tour?

crossing my fingers!

annwilsonmusic16 karma

Thank you very much! Yeah, if we come up with them, we will definitely add them. And we will be coming out with another EP (#2) next year (we are aiming for February), which will have at least two new songs.

Maureenlittlebit13 karma

Where did you get the boots you had on at your last concert? (The Ann Wilson Thing)

annwilsonmusic16 karma

Those were made by a place in LA called Andre Number One.