LAINEY WILSON’S JOURNEY FROM CAMPER TO COUNTRY MUSIC STAR

To talk country music today, you must mention 31-year-old Louisiana native Lainey Wilson, whose twang, voice, and lyrics have swept Nashville by storm.

The down-south diva didn’t get it big immediately away; she gained popularity after appearing on Yellowstone season 5.

She won five CMA Awards at the 2023 Country Music Awards on November 8, including Entertainer, Female Vocalist, Album, Musical Event, and Music Video of the Year.

“This is all I’ve ever wanted to do, it’s the only thing I know how to do,” Wilson said in her acceptance speech.

“I suppose we’ll have played 186 performances this year and worked hard for years. After 12 and a half years in this town, country music finally loves me back.”

We also enjoy her return! Discover Lainey Wilson and her adventurous journey!

Lainey Wilson pre-Nashville


Wilson, raised in Baskin, Louisiana by a farmer father and school teacher mother, was bitten by the country music bug after seeing a Grand Ole Opry concert and felt driven to perform country songs on stage.

She released a MySpace EP (what year?) to control her fate. Later in high school, she worked as a Hannah Montana impersonator at birthday parties, fairs, and hospitals.

Gaining fame in Nashville


Wilson’s Nashville beginnings were difficult. After graduating high school, she lived in a camper trailer outside a Nashville recording studio, where the owner provided water and power. She struggled to make ends meet.

“I would walk up and down Music Row in Nashville and pass out my demos and CDs,” she told PEOPLE. “Many people slammed the door in my face.

Some days were terrible, and I should have packed up and gone home, hooked the trailer to the back of the truck, and said, ‘I can’t do this.’ But I’ve always felt strangely at rest knowing this is all I know.”

Wilson left lesser labels in 2018 to sign with BBR Music Group, where she released “Dirty Looks” in 2019, “Things a Man Oughta Know” in 2020, and “Heart Like a Truck” in 2022.

As her fame grew, she collaborated with other country stars. On Jason Aldean’s “Back in the Saddle Tour,” she worked with Cole Swindell on “Never Say Never.”

Other recent duets include “Thicc as Thieves” with Lauren Alaina, “Save Me” with Jelly Roll, and “Wait In the Truck” with Hardy. She moved from music to TV in 2022.

Lainey Wilson on Yellowstone

Lainey played Abby in Yellowstone, a Paramount smash, and her debut was distinctive. Wilson became known to show creator Taylor Sheridan after her song was featured.

“He said, ‘I want to create a character specifically for you,’” she told PEOPLE. “He said, ‘I want you to dress what you wear, sing what you sing, and be yourself. Call yourself Abby. She’s a musician. I answered, “Yes, count me in,” without thinking. Let’s try.”

Lainey Wilson nearly missed Yellowstone.

In addition to the stress of her acting debut on one of the world’s most popular TV shows, Lainey Wilson was coping with personal issues during her Yellowstone takeoff.

Her father, Brian Wilson, was hospitalized after a near-fatal infection and stroke. All the doctors said, ‘This is not looking good.’ I remember they hired a few hundred extras to be on-set, and I was supposed to be there the next day, but I was in Houston with my dad, and I didn’t want to go “She told PEOPLE about her struggle to balance being there for her family and taking advantage of the opportunity.

However, her dad objected. Did I hear you’re not filming Yellowstone? ‘Daddy, I can’t leave you.’ He replied, ‘You better go, and you better not come back until the work is done,’” she recalled. He reared that girl. I went that way and did it. That mindset brought me here.”

Wilson’s career thrives


Lainey Wilson’s early Nashville struggles have paid off today. She is on her “Country’s Cool Again Tour,” which began in May and ends in November 2024.

“Nothing gets me buzzin’ like putting on a show and singing with the crowd,” she remarked. “I want to thank all the fans who have come out this year. We’re excited to see you nationwide on the Country’s Cool Again Tour!”


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