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Heart Band Members: See the Female-Fronted Rock Band Then and Now

Catch up with the Wilson sisters as they embark on their first tour in five years!

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The ’70s was a golden age for rock bands. Dozens of groups skyrocketed to fame, and all the songs of the era still hold up. However, there was one frustrating aspect of the ’70s rock world — the vast majority of bands were fronted by men. Thankfully, Heart, an ultra-cool band fronted by not one but two women, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, formed in 1973, and the traditionally macho world of rock hasn’t been the same since.

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Heart‘s hit songs like “Magic Man,” “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda” defined the decade with their mix of powerhouse vocals and hard-rock guitar riffs. In the ’80s, they continued their success with chart-toppers like “These Dreams” and “Alone,” and received multiple Grammy nominations.

Ann Wilson spoke about how she and her sister helped to break the barrier for women in rock, saying, “We did go into the rock music scene when there weren’t any other women really for things rock… So, yeah, I think we did help to loosen the lock on the door a bit.” Nancy Wilson has said, “We didn’t have female role models. There weren’t any women out there really doing rock and roll… We didn’t need anyone’s permission to rock.”

Heart band members Nancy and Ann Wilson in 1976
Nancy and Ann Wilson in 1976Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Over 50 years after they first hit the scene, Heart is still going strong and inspiring women of all ages. The band, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, is currently on tour, and will continue touring through the end of the year.

In a recent Billboard interview, Ann Wilson said Heart is hoping to write new songs in the near future.

Read on for a look at the Heart band members then and now.

Ann Wilson

Ann Wilson
Left: 1977; Right: 2022 Fotos International/Getty; Noam Galai/Getty

The lead singer of Heart and the older of the Wilson sisters, Ann Wilson‘s strong vocals showed that women could rock just as hard (if not harder!) than men.

In 1984, Ann joined Loverboy singer Mike Reno for a duet on the song, “Almost Paradise,”which was featured in the film Footloose. The song peaked at no. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed on the charts for 20 weeks. In 1988, she teamed up with Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander on the song “Surrender to Me,” which was featured in the film Tequila Sunrise and peaked at no. 6.

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Woman singing
Ann Wilson performing in 1978 Rick Diamond/Getty

Ann and her sister owned a recording studio, Bad Animals, from 1991 to 1997, and dozens of major bands, including Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and R.E.M., recorded songs and albums there. In 1992, Ann was featured on two songs by Alice in Chains, “Brother” and “Am I Inside.”

Ann and her sister also started another band while in Heart, the Lovemongers, which focused on more acoustic, less polished songs. The band released two albums, and lasted from 1991 to 2001.

Ann released her first solo album, Hope & Glory, in 2007. She’s released three more solo albums since then, and her most recent one, Another Door, came out in 2023.

Now 73, the singer has been open about her longtime struggles with her weight, as well as drug addiction. In 2002, she had weight loss surgery, and she’s been sober since 2009. She adopted two children in the ’90s, and has been married to Dean Wetter, who she first met in the ’80s, since 2015.

Nancy Wilson: Heart band members

Nancy Wilson
Left: 1977; Right: 2023 Fotos International/Getty; Amy Sussman/Getty

Nancy Wilson, Ann’s younger sister, played guitar and keyboards and provided additional vocals. She was the lead vocalist for their hit song “These Dreams.”

She was part of the side band the Lovemongers with her sister, and she frequently collaborated with her husband, the writer and filmmaker Cameron Crowe, who she married in 1986.

She made cameo appearances in two films he wrote, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and The Wild Life (1984) and contributed the song “All for Love” to his 1989 teen classic Say Anything…

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Nancy Wilson performing in 1978
Nancy Wilson performing in 1978 Rick Diamond/Getty

Nancy then provided music for Crowe’s blockbuster, Jerry Maguire (1996); his autobiographical movie, Almost Famous (2000); his psychological thriller, Vanilla Sky (2001); and his rom-com, Elizabethtown (2005).

In 2021, she released her first solo album, You and Me. Now 70, she had twin sons with Crowe, and the couple divorced in 2010. In 2023, she launched her own management group for musicians, Roadcase Management.

Roger Fisher

Roger Fisher
Left: 1980; Right: 2013 Fotos International/Getty; Mark Sullivan/Getty

As one of the founders of Heart, guitarist Roger Fisher is known for his iconic riffs. He left the band in 1980. Early on, Fisher dated Nancy Wilson, while his brother, Mike Fisher, who was briefly Heart’s drummer, dated Ann Wilson.

Fisher formed his own band, Alias, in 1990. Ex-Heart members Steve Fossen and Mike Derosier were also members. They had a hit with their song “More Than Words Can Say,” but broke up later in the decade.

Fisher has also released four solo albums. Now 74, his most recent album, Heart of the Blues, came out in 2018. He and his brother also have a line of products, Human Tribe, that includes tea, cologne, clothes, accessories and guitars and speakers.

Steve Fossen: Heart band members

Steve Fossen
Left: 1980; Right: 2021 Michael Putland/Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty

Bassist Steve Fossen was another of the founding Heart band members. In 1982, he left the group due to creative differences with the other musicians.

He joined Alias in 1990, and today, he tours with former Heart drummer Michael DeRosier in the group Heart by Heart. He’s also been a member of another band, Café Authors.

Now 74, Fossen has shared that he is grateful for his time in Heart and the opportunities it has given him, saying, “The songs I played on are listened to, bought, downloaded, and streamed all over the planet every day… At any given second during the day somewhere, our music is being appreciated.”

Howard Leese

Howard Leese
Left: 1982; Right: 2019 Gary Gershoff/Getty; Rick Kern/Getty

Howard Leese played with Heart as their guitarist and keyboardist for 23 years, starting in 1975 and ending in 1998.

While Leese was originally a guitarist, he ventured into keyboards when he joined Heart. In 2008, he joined the classic rock band Bad Company and still plays with them today. In 2009, he released his debut solo album, Secret Weapon.

In 1994, Leese founded his own line of custom-made guitars. He’s also been a record producer for smaller bands in his recording studio.

Now 72, Leese, the longest-serving member of Heart other than the Wilson sisters, was most recently a special guest on Dolly Parton‘s 2023 cover of “Magic Man,” along with Ann Wilson.

Michael Derosier: Heart band members

Michael DeRosier
Left: 1977; Right: 2013 Michael Ochs Archives/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty

Heart’s drummer, Michael Derosier, joined the group in 1975, along with Leese. Like Fossen, he left the band until 1982, and will always be associated with them.

Derosier joined the band Orion the Hunter in 1984. After that, he became a member of Alias, along with his former bandmates Steve Fossen and Roger Fisher.

Now 72, Derosier is currently touring with Fossen as part of Heart by Heart. In an interview, he admitted, “It’s really hard to go out there with new music when people… want to hear what you did in the past… it’s hard to go up against ‘Barracuda’ and ‘Crazy on You’ and ‘Magic Man.'”

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