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Rock 'n' roll sisters are full of heart


Published:   |   Updated: June 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM

It's not easy getting into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Just ask Kiss, Deep Purple and a number of other acts, who legions of fans think should be enshrined in Cleveland's most popular tourist attraction.

In April, Heart was inducted along with Rush and Public Enemy. Soundgarden's Chris Cornell did the honors as he sang the praises of Heart, which is the first female rock band to play the songs they crafted.

Heart, which is made up of vocalist Ann Wilson and her sister, guitarist Nancy Wilson, has sold more than 30 million albums. The consistent pop-rock act has had 10 albums on the Billboard charts. The Wilsons wrote and recorded hit after hit, such as "Barracuda," "Crazy On You" and "Magic Man."

No wonder the band will live forever in the hallowed halls of one of America's most entertaining museums.

"We've worked so hard for everything that we've gotten," Ann Wilson said. "We've earned everything that has been given to us."

Heart, performing Tuesday with Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience at the MidFlorida Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, has been together for more than 40 years. Although the lineup has changed considerably over that span, the Wilson sisters have always been the constants.

"We're sisters and we also get along," Ann Wilson said. "We've always loved being in this band. We always loved music. "

When the Wilsons were kids coming of age in Seattle during the '60s, they were huge pop music fans.

"There were so many recording artists who had a massive impact on us," Wilson said. "You had The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, just to name a few that already had incredible careers when we were so young. Great music felt like it was everywhere. It was so inspiring."

The Wilsons were moved to form a band and write songs.

"We had no problem coming up with (tunes)," Wilson said. "The songs come from what's happening in our lives. What we come up with is genuine. It's about people we know and about feelings that we have."

The Wilson sisters don't play it up, but they are pioneers for women in rock. Back in their salad days, there weren't many female rockers.

"It was a male-dominated industry," Wilson said. "Just look back at the bands from that era who were dominant. You don't see many women in those bands. That's just how it was. I think we did have an impact. I think we loosened things up a bit ... but it wasn't something we dwelled on. It was beyond anything to do with genders. It was about making the best music we could make. That's something that never changed with us."

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