It’s been 25 years since Meredith Brooks poked at the boundaries of profanity in music with her 1997 release of “Bitch.” The somewhat-controversial song was intended as an attempt to reclaim and redefine the word ‘bitch;’ it became a charting hit song and a generational statement of female empowerment.
Fast-forward a quarter of a century. Nashville recording artist and singer-songwriter, KC Johns, has puts her own unique crisp and energetic touch on the now classic GRAMMY-nominated hit on the 25-year anniversary of the 90’s anthem, initially written and performed by Meredith Brooks.
After the successful release of her singles “Black Dog,” “Whiskey Break,” “Confused,” and “Desperado” along with her soul-filled full album, Thunder, from 2020 to 2022, Nashville singer -songwriter and charting recording artist, KC Johns, steps back to her roots in rock and blues with her latest single release, “Bitch (Nothing In Between).” Working once again with GRAMMY-nominated producer Billy Smiley at the legendary Sound Kitchen recording studios outside of Nashville, Johns delivers a musically transcendent yet gently ‘countryfied,’ Americana, Indie-folk rendition of “Bitch."
In the current legal and political climate where women’s rights seem to have taken a recent sharp turn back to the 1970s, Johns wanted to reintroduce this song about personal strength and confidence and unapologetically embracing the many faces and facets of what it means to be a woman. In this next chapter of the Me Too movement, women are finding new ways of standing up, speaking out and taking charge. Today, it’s about being a voice that’s heard and a force that’s felt, and not accepting the labels or categories. At its core, “Bitch” is a song about accepting the humanity in all of us, without judgement.
KC Johns has her own nostalgic love affair with the fist-pumping rally cry, and in her own way embodies the complex, strong, dynamic, and ruggedly feminine soul at the core of the song. With this new release, Johns wants to make a statement of support and admiration for “Bitch” as a song she loves and personally embraces, and one she believes speaks to the empowerment of women today as much as it did 25 years ago — and right now maybe even more than ever.
"It felt like the right time to reinvigorate, with my version of “Bitch” as a next-level, generational rally cry when we need a collective passion to stand up and fight for our rights, all over again," Johns said.
“Bitch” ruffled some feathers in the early days of it’s 1997 release and in many ways, became an iconic statement as part of a culture-shift, serving as a catalytic contribution to the past 25 years of momentum towards gender equality. In a time where it seems like much have that ground may have suddenly been erased, KC Johns’ “Bitch” is an artistic bridge between a song that was originally intended to take back the definition of the word, and the necessary road ahead to hold and now reclaim lost ground.
“Bitch” struck a cord with women and outspoken supporters of women in the 90’s, when the conversations had a different and less urgent tone; “Bitch" is even more important now, in an era where women are done sitting around and letting men control the conversation about how we should live our lives.
Johns’ reimagined version of “Bitch” reincarnates a 25 year-old wave of emblazoned female empowerment as a saucy new embrace of unpolished human authenticity, and puts the rally cry out again in time for a new generation facing a familiar fight for rights.
Born and raised outside of Memphis, KC jumped feet-first into the music business at a young age, performing everywhere from Dollywood —where she was featured in Dolly Parton’s “Christmas Coat of Many Colors”— to cruise ships. After performing in ports throughout the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and everywhere in between, she made her way to Nashville and up the country music ladder, opening for artists like Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Randy Houser, and Trailer Choir.
2022 has been the continuation of KC’s page-turner of a story, starting with the January release of a new single and video, “Confused.” “Confused” followed her popular 2021 single release, “Whiskey Break,” which was featured in a nationally distributed documentary about the legendary music venue, the Gorge, where nearly every major touring artist has played for the last 50 years. Since its release, “Confused” found its way on to radio playlists in a still growing list of markets across the country and cracked Nashville’s Music Row chart, climbing into the top 100 songs.
In addition to a slate of new music set for release in 2022, KC continues to pursue an aggressive touring schedule, with dates from Norway to Nashville filling her calendar throughout the year. Find out more and keep up with KC @ kcjohns.rocks.