These days, discussing country music wouldn’t be complete without bringing up 31-year-old Louisiana native Lainey Wilson, whose distinctive twang, vibrato, and lyrical skill have swept Nashville by storm. However, the singer from the South did not immediately become well-known; rather, Lainey Wilson gained attention due to her recent appearance on the 8 of this year, she won five CMA Awards—Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Musical Event of the Year, and Music Video of the Year—proving that her steady ascent to the top has paid off.
In her acceptance speech, Wilson said, “This is the only thing I know how to do and all I’ve ever wanted to do.” “I believe that by the time the year ends, we will have performed in roughly 186 shows, worked extremely hard this year, and many years prior. After twelve and a half years in this town, I feel like country music is finally beginning to love me back.”
We too adore her very much! Discover Lainey Wilson here, along with the crazy journey that brought her this far!
Lainey Wilson’s life before Nashville
Wilson, who was raised in Baskin, Louisiana, by a farmer father and a schoolteacher mother, was bitten by the country music bug after seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry. She felt compelled to perform on stage someday, singing the songs that her upbringing had taught her.
Determined to control her own fate, she put out an EP on MySpace in (what year?). She later got a career as a Hannah Montana impersonator, going to fairs, birthday parties, and even hospitals while in high school.
Making a name for herself in Nashville
Wilson faced difficulties in his early years in Nashville. After graduating from high school, she made a significant shift and frequently battled to make ends meet. She lived in a camper trailer outside of a recording studio in Nashville, where the owner provided her with electricity and water.
She told PEOPLE, “I would walk up and down Music Row in Nashville and pass out my demos and my CDs.” Many others slammed the door in my face. There were moments when I should have definitely packed it up and headed home, hooked the trailer to the back of the truck, and said, “I can’t do this.” There were also some difficult days. However, I’ve always felt a strange kind of calmness knowing that this is all I know how to do.
After leaving the lesser labels in 2018, Wilson signed a deal with BBR Music Group, where she would record the hits that have made her famous, including “Dirty Looks” in 2019, “Things a Man Oughta Know” in 2020, and “Heart Like a Truck” in 2022.
As she became increasingly well-known, she started collaborating more with other well-known country musicians. In 2021, she went on tour with Jason Aldean as part of his “Back in the Saddle Tour,” and she wrote a song for Cole Swindell called “Never Say Never.”
Other recent joint efforts are duets such as “Wait In the Truck” with Hardy, “Save Me” with Jelly Roll, and “Thicc as Thieves” with Lauren Alaina. She broadened her interests in 2022, moving from music to small screens.
Lainey Wilson on Yellowstone
In the popular Paramount series Yellowstone, Lainey played Abby, and she had a special entrance to the program. When one of Wilson’s songs was featured in the series, show creator Taylor Sheridan learned about the singer.
She told PEOPLE, “He said, ‘I want to create a character specifically for you.'” “‘I want you to be yourself, pretty much. Wear what you wear, sing what you’re singing,” he said. You will be called Abby. She plays music. And I just answered, “Yes, count me in,” without giving it a second thought. “Let’s get started.”
Eventually, Abby, portrayed by Ian Bohen, falls in love with Ryan, one of the bunkhouse boys (see him in this list of “Yellowstone” Hunks: Our 9 Favorite Cowboys, Ranked).
You dive right in there, but I really had no idea what I was doing. She told USA Today, “I was going to give people their money’s worth.”
Lainey Wilson almost passed up on Yellowstone
Before her departure for Yellowstone, Lainey Wilson had to cope with some personal issues on top of the stress and worry of making her acting debut on one of the most-watched television shows in the world.
After suffering a near-fatal infection and stroke, her father, Brian Wilson, was admitted to the hospital. The physicians had all told us that things didn’t seem good. “I recall that they had hired several hundred extras to be on-set, and I was meant to be there the following day, but I was in Houston with my father, and I just didn’t wanna go,” she revealed to PEOPLE, describing the conflict she was having with her desire to support her family and seize the chance that had been presented to her.
But her father would have none of it. “Have I heard that you won’t be shooting Yellowstone? “Daddy, I can’t let you go,” I said. She stated that he told her to “go and not come back until the job is done.” That is the girl he brought up. I went that route and completed the task. That mindset, in my opinion, is what brought me to this point.
Wilson’s career continues to thrive
Lainey Wilson’s years of perseverance and hardship throughout her formative years in Nashville have now paid off. As of right now, she’s halfway through her “Country’s Cool Again Tour,” which got underway in May and runs through November 2024.
In a statement, she added, “Putting on a show and singing along with the crowd is what gets me buzzin’.” “I would want to express my sincere gratitude to all of the supporters who have consistently turned out this year. We are very excited to see you on the Country’s Cool Again Tour around the country!
Wilson posted an appreciative message on her Instagram with the comment, “The ride just keeps getting wilder,” following her amazing victories at the CMA Awards this year. I never would have guessed how much country music has embraced me. Folks, this is the dream. Everything seems so beautifully guided. Thank you so much; it truly means the world to me.