Singer Mark Wills

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on November 16, 2003

Is it true that country singer Mark Wills was one of the first people to see rescued soldier Jessica Lynch?

—Jason B., California

Yes, but it wasn’t planned. In May, Mark Wills, 30, was visiting other soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital when he had a few hours off from touring. “When we got there, they told us that she had heard we were coming and asked for us to come by and say hello,” he says. “From what I understand, I was only the second civilian to be allowed to meet her. She was pretty banged up. The thing that took me off guard was how small she is.” It turns out that Lynch was a fan of such Wills’ songs as Don’t Laugh at Me, I Do (Cherish You) and 19 Something. Wills, born in Cleveland, Tenn. (pop. 37,192), has been singing in northeast Georgia honkytonks longer than he’s been driving. During his teen years, he won several talent contests that landed him gigs in clubs in Atlanta and Marietta, Ga. He began making trips to Nashville, Tenn., which led to a record deal. Wills, who recently released his new CD, And the Crowd Goes Wild, lives in Kennesaw, Ga. (pop. 21,675), with his wife, Kelly, and their two daughters, Mally, 5, and Macie, nearly 1.