Ann Wilson on Touring With Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers: "To Have a Long Career, It's About Showing Up"

Ann Wilson is always ready to rock. Her show at Coral Sky Amphitheatre will be no exception.EXPAND
Ann Wilson is always ready to rock. Her show at Coral Sky Amphitheatre will be no exception.
Photo by Jess Griffin
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Guitar icon Jeff Beck. Legendary vocalist Paul Rodgers. Inimitable Heart singer Ann Wilson. Alone, any one of these performers can bring the house down. Together, they might just make history.

The three legends have teamed up and are bringing one rockin’ heat wave this summer. The appropriately dubbed Stars Align Tour, with Beck, Rodgers, and Wilson, hits Coral Sky Amphitheatre Saturday, August 25.

“It’s been awesome... I’ve been a huge fan of [Jeff Beck] from way back, and after I come offstage, I get to stand there and hear him play,” Wilson says of the tour. “It’s extremely cool. He’s on his game. [Rodgers] is on his. I’m on mine.”

To be crystal clear, the three haven’t formed a supergroup — though that would be totally rad to see one day. And if you’re looking for a Heart-athon from Wilson, it isn’t happening. According to the songstress, you’ll hear only one Heart single (“Barracuda,” por favor?) during her roughly 45 minutes under the summer sun.

“In Florida, you always expect to be hotter than you ever have in your whole life,” she laughs. “But, hey, part of my arrangement is to do 45 minutes, so it’s not too bad.”

Most of the work Wilson is churning out these days is solo material, from her 2006 debut, Hope & Glory, to her latest LP, Immortal, which is scheduled to hit shelves September 14.

The album boasts ten tracks, all of which pay homage to some of Wilson’s favorite artists who have passed away in recent years. The list includes Tom Petty’s “Luna,” Amy Winehouse's “Back to Black,” and Leonard Cohen’s “A Thousand Kisses Deep.”

“[Choosing these songs] actually wasn’t that hard for me,” Wilson says. “I went through the artists that I love and really went into their bodies of work. And I ended up with songs that aren’t necessarily the big hits.”

It’s one more way Wilson — who has now been in the biz for nearly 50 years — continues to remain relevant on the big stage.

“Staying relevant is a big challenge,” she says. “But if you fixate on the idea of being relevant, what results is secondary. There were times when I didn’t feel relevant at all and some when I didn’t try to be relevant. To have a long career, it’s about showing up... being authentic and meaning it. Sometimes you’ll be successful, and sometimes you won’t. At least you’re trying.” 

Jeff Beck & Paul Rodgers and Ann Wilson of Heart.
7 p.m. Saturday, August 25, at Coral Sky Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach;561-95-8883. Tickets cost $21.25 to $99.50 via livenation.com.

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