“I think everybody knows I’m still here,” Tanya Tucker says when asked if she would describe her career these days as a comeback. But while most folks have heard of Tucker, they may not know that she is one of country music’s all-time best-selling female vocalists. (They also may not know how to pronounce her first name correctly: The “tan” rhymes with “can.”) Tucker was born in Seminole in 1958, but her family soon moved to Las Vegas. In 1972, at the tender age of thirteen, she had her first hit with “Delta Dawn,” which went to number six on the country charts and grazed the pop charts as well. By age fifteen she had released her first greatest-hits collection, received a Grammy nomination, and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone. She went on to live the stereotypical on-the-edge life of the seventies music icon, later chronicling her love affairs and her battle with substance abuse in a 1997 autobiography, Nickel Dreams. Today the 42-year-old Tucker, who had romances with Glen Campbell, Don Johnson, and Andy Gibb, lives with her fiancé, songwriter and producer Jerry Laseter, and her three children in her Nashville-area mansion—which, incidentally, is on the market for several million dollars (for sale by owner!). After taking time off to have her third child, Tucker is touring regularly again. You can catch her in Houston on September 7 at the Sam Houston Race Park, but most of her appearances are on the casino circuit. “The Indians, they dig me,” she says.
From the September 2001 Issue Subscribe