Gretchen Peters

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Gretchen Peters
Background information
Born (1957-11-14) November 14, 1957 (age 66)
Bronxville, New York, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Guitar
  • piano
  • vocals
Years active1996–present
  • Imprint
  • Purple Crayon
  • Scarlet Letter

Gretchen Peters (born November 14, 1957) is an American singer and songwriter. She was born in Bronxville, New York, and she wrote her first song with her sister at the age of 5. In 1970, her parents broke up, and Peters moved with her mother to Boulder, Colorado. There, she discovered a lively music scene, and began playing at local clubs. In 1988 she moved to Nashville, where she found work as a songwriter, composing hits for Martina McBride, Etta James, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Anne Murray, Shania Twain, Neil Diamond and co-writing songs with Bryan Adams.[1][2] Some of Peters' notable compositions include "The Secret of Life", "On a Bus to St. Cloud", "You Don't Even Know Who I Am" and "Independence Day", for which she received the Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year. In addition, Peters has released fourteen studio albums of her own, beginning with 1996's The Secret of Life.

As a writer, Peters' style is defined by melancholy lyrics and dark themes, such as murder, loneliness, PTSD, sexual abuse, domestic violence. She was inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame on October 5, 2014.[3] On August 12, 2022, Peters announced her intention to retire from touring, playing her final shows in June 2023, though she will continue to write and record.[4]



Title Album details Peak positions
The Secret of Life
Gretchen Peters
  • Release date: February 13, 2001
  • Label: Purple Crayon Records
  • Release date: May 31, 2004
  • Label: Purple Crayon Records
Trio: Recorded Live
  • Release date: March 28, 2006
  • Label: Purple Crayon Records
Burnt Toast & Offerings
  • Release date: August 7, 2007
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
Northern Lights
  • Release date: October 21, 2008
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
One to the Heart, One to the Head
(with Tom Russell)
  • Release date: February 1, 2009
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
Circus Girl: The Best Of
(single CD and 2-CD versions)
  • Release date: May 12, 2009
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
Hello Cruel World
  • Release date: January 31, 2012
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
Woman on the Wheel: Live from the Hello Cruel World Tour 2012 (Limited Edition Book/CD/DVD)
  • Release date: May 7, 2013
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
  • Release date: February 10, 2015
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
Dancing with the Beast
  • Release date: May 18, 2018
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
The Night You Wrote That Song
  • Release date: May 15, 2020
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
The Show: Live from the UK
  • Release date: August 19, 2022
  • Label: Scarlet Letter Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
1996 "When You Are Old" 68 The Secret of Life
"I Ain't Never Satisfied"[6]
2012 "Hello Cruel World" Hello Cruel World
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Guest singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak positions Album
US Country
1999 "New Year's Eve 1999" Alabama 55

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1996 "When You Are Old"[7] Bud Schaetzle
2012 "The Matador" Bud Schaetzle
2015 "Blackbirds" Eric Power
2018 "Arguing With Ghosts" Joshua Britt & Neilson Hubbard/Neighborhoods Apart

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
1995 Country Music Association Song of the Year "Independence Day" Won
1995 Grammy Awards Best Country Song Nominated
1996 Grammy Awards "You Don't Even Know Who I Am" Nominated
1996 Academy of Country Music Song of the Year Nominated
2002 Golden Globes Best Original Song "Here I Am" Nominated
2016 UK Americana Association International Album of the Year Blackbirds Won
2016 UK Americana Association International Artist of the Year Gretchen Peters Nominated
2016 UK Americana Association International Song of the Year (shared with Ben Glover) "Blackbirds" Won
2021 Academy of Country Music Poet's Award Gretchen Peters Won


  1. ^ [1] Biography at, Retrieved May 10, 2023.
  2. ^ Video on YouTube
  3. ^ [2] Archived October 24, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "An announcement". 12 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Gretchen Peters | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. June 15, 1996.
  7. ^ "CMT : Videos : Gretchen Peters : When You Are Old". Country Music Television. Retrieved October 14, 2011.

External links[edit]