Lainey Wilson

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Lainey Wilson
Wilson performing in 2020
Wilson performing in 2020
Background information
Birth nameLainey Denay Wilson
Born (1992-05-19) May 19, 1992 (age 31)
Baskin, Louisiana, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2011–present
  • Cupit
  • Lone Chief
  • BBR

Lainey Denay Wilson (born May 19, 1992)[1] is an American country music singer-songwriter. Wilson performed from an early age, before going to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career as a country performer. In 2014, she released her first album, followed by a second on the Lone Chief label in 2016. Wilson secured a publishing deal and later released an extended play (EP) in 2019, which included the song "Things a Man Oughta Know". In 2020, it was issued as a single through the BBR Music Group and eventually reached number one on the American country songs chart.

Early life[edit]

Lainey Wilson was raised in Baskin, Louisiana, a town of only 250 people. Her father, Brian, was a farmer while her mother, Michelle, was a schoolteacher. She also has a sister, Janna. She became interested in music at a young age.[2] Her family often listened to classic country music by Buck Owens and Glen Campbell. "Country music for me and my family, it was more than music. We lived the words to those songs," she told The Advocate.[3]

At age nine, she attended a performance of the Grand Ole Opry and was drawn to the music. "I just remember looking up there, being like, ‘Man, I wanna do that'," she recalled.[4] Wilson's father taught her a couple of chords and she was soon writing songs by her preteen years.[2] In 2006, she released an extended play (EP) on Myspace titled Country Girls Rule.[1] In high school, Wilson took a job impersonating Hannah Montana. Often booking her own shows,[4] she performed as Hannah Montana at birthday parties, fairs, and festivals across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, even once performing for child cancer patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.[2]


2011–2018: early years in Nashville and independent releases[edit]

Wilson finished high school[2] and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in August 2011.[3] She first lived in a camper trailer outside of a recording studio in Nashville. The studio owner paid for Wilson's water and electricity to help make ends meet.[5] In 2021, Wilson explained that her early years in Nashville were difficult: "It taught me that this thing was not going to be easy. It taught me perseverance."[3] For several years, Wilson played a variety of small shows and worked on her songwriting.[2] In 2014, Wilson released a self-titled album on the Cupit label.[6] It was followed in 2016 by her second album Tougher. The disc was released on the Lone Chief label.[7] The project garnered an audience and charted the Billboard Top Country Albums list in 2016.[8] In 2018, she issued her second EP, a self-titled collection that was self-released. This led to Wilson signing a publishing deal[2] with SONY/ATV in 2018. The same year, she also signed a management deal.[9]

2019–present: breakout success with "Things a Man Oughta Know"[edit]

In 2018, Wilson signed a major-label recording contract with the BBR Music Group.[10] Her first major-label release was her third EP Redneck Hollywood (2019). Her debut major label single was also released in 2019 called "Dirty Looks".[11] Off the Record UK praised the EP, highlighting Wilson's songwriting and the production from producer Jay Joyce. The publication concluded by saying, "The EP is raw and real, pushing the country music genre wider than ever and bringing it back to the traditional while still reinventing it to its modern surroundings."[12] Wilson then received attention from Country Music Television, who included her in their "Listen Up" Class of 2019[13] and on their "2019 CMT Next Women of Country" tour.[14] She also toured with Morgan Wallen in 2019.[11] During this same period, several of her songs were featured in the Paramount Network show Yellowstone.[15]

In August 2020, the BBR label issued Wilson's next single to radio titled "Things a Man Oughta Know".[16] The track gained heavy media attention from sites like Youtube, Apple Music,[17] iHeart Radio,[18] Spotify[19] and Pandora.[20] By 2021, "Things a Man Oughta Know" became her breakout single, reaching number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and number three on the Country Songs chart.[21] It was included on her third studio album Sayin' What I'm Thinkin' (2021). The disc was her first full-length album collection issued on the BBR label and contained 12 tracks.[22] It was her second to reach the Billboard country albums list, peaking at number 40.[8] The disc received positive reviews. "Beyond writing and recording songs that satisfy country music fans, she succeeds at introducing her whole self through the music," concluded Taste of Country's Billy Dukes.[23] Entertainment Focus commented, "The rising star knocks it out of the park with her new album."[24]

Wilson appeared as a supporting act on Jason Aldean's "Back in the Saddle Tour" in 2021.[25] The same year, Wilson collaborated with Cole Swindell on his single "Never Say Never".[26] The duet was released as the second single from Swindell's fourth studio album Stereotype, and became Wilson's second single to top the Billboard country chart.[27] It was followed by her 2022 solo single titled "Heart Like a Truck", then the album Bell Bottom Country.[28] Wilson received a leading six nominations at the 56th Annual Country Music Association Awards, becoming the fourth artist to receive six or more nominations as a first-time nominee.[29] Wilson also joined the cast of Yellowstone in 2022, with some of her songs also being featured in the series.[30] She was a co-writer on the 2023 single "Chasing Tornadoes" by fellow country artist MacKenzie Porter.[31]

Wilson received a leading nine nominations at the 57th Annual Country Music Association Awards, winning five including the top honor Entertainer of the Year. Wilson became the first woman to win the award since Taylor Swift in 2009.[citation needed]


Wilson's musical style is rooted in country music, but also incorporates elements of pop, southern rock, contemporary country and classic country.[2][32] In describing her style, AllMusic's Mark Deming commented, "Wilson's voice is clear and strong, with an unapologetic Southern accent, and her songs are tough but heartfelt contemporary country with an edge that has its roots in vintage Southern rock and classic rock, as well as a dash of modern-day pop."[2] In describing her own musical style, Wilson characterized it as "bell-bottom country", which Taste of Country called "a cross between easy listening and hard truths."[4] Wilson has been heavily influenced by Dolly Parton, paying tribute to her in the self-composed track "WWDD" (What Would Dolly Do).[33] She also credits Lee Ann Womack as an influence on her career and music.[34]

Personal life[edit]

In 2022, Wilson's father, Brian Wilson, experienced severe health issues including a stroke and a fungal infection that resulted in the removal of his left eye. This all occurred while she was filming her first season on Yellowstone. Desiring to be closer to him, she considered quitting the show. However, her father encouraged her to continue filming regardless of his health outlook. He eventually recovered and was even able to accompany her on the red carpet at the 56th CMA Awards.[35][36][37]

In late 2022, Wilson became the subject of a viral trend that occurred on social media, predominately on TikTok. A video of her performing at a concert spread very quickly on the platform. As a result of the angle of the camera and the leopard print pants Wilson was wearing, users felt the video was very flattering to the size and shape of her buttocks. The resulting trend saw users posting additional videos, pictures, and comments expressing admiration for Wilson's posterior physique. For her part, Lainey acknowledged the trend and has largely responded to it with good humor. She made several jokes about it and also expressed hope that many people who had only heard of her because of the posts would be inspired to listen to her music and become fans.[38][39]

In May 2023, Wilson was confirmed to be in a relationship with ex-NFL quarterback Devlin "Duck" Hodges.[40] Wilson later revealed in an interview with The Bobby Bones Show that she and Hodges had been dating for over two years prior to the public revelation.[41]


Studio albums


Title Year Role Notes Ref.
Yellowstone 2022 Abby Season 5 [30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2021 CMT Music Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year – "Things a Man Oughta Know" Nominated [42]
Academy of Country Music Awards New Female Artist of the Year Won [43]
Song of the Year – "Things a Man Oughta Know" Won
2022 CMT Music Awards CMT Digital – First Performance of the Year – "Things a Man Oughta Know" Nominated [44]
Video of the Year – "Never Say Never" (with Cole Swindell) Nominated
Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Won [45]
New Artist of the Year Won
Album of the YearSayin' What I'm Thinkin' Nominated
Song of the Year – "Things a Man Oughta Know" Nominated
Musical Event of the Year – "Never Say Never" (with Cole Swindell) Nominated
Video of the Year – "Never Say Never" (with Cole Swindell) Nominated
2023 Academy of Country Music Awards Album of the Year – Bell Bottom Country Won [43]
Female Artist of the Year Won
Single of the Year – "Heart Like a Truck" Nominated
Song of the Year – "Wait in the Truck" (with Hardy) Nominated
Musical Event of the Year – "Wait in the Truck" (with Hardy) Won
Visual Media of the Year – "Wait in the Truck" (with Hardy) Won
Country Music Association Awards Entertainer of the Year Won
Female Vocalist of the Year Won
Album of the Year – Bell Bottom Country Won
Song of the Year – "Heart Like a Truck" Nominated
Single of the Year - "Heart Like a Truck" Nominated
Single of the Year - "Wait in the Truck" (with Hardy) Nominated
Musical Event of the Year – "Wait in the Truck" (with Hardy) Won
Musical Event of the Year – "Save Me" (with Jelly Roll) Nominated
Video of the Year – "Wait in the Truck" (with Hardy) Won
2024 66th Grammy Awards Best Country Duo/Group Performance
"Save Me" (with Jelly Roll)
Best Country Album
Bell Bottom Country


  1. ^ a b "Meet Lainey Wilson and Learn Some Things You Oughta Know About Her". Country Thang Daily. September 26, 2021. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Deming, Mark. "Lainey Wilson Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Wirt, John (April 22, 2021). "With a voice recalling Dolly Parton, Louisiana's Lainey Wilson is hitting the country charts; see video". The Advocate. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Ladd, Olivia (June 22, 2020). "Lainey Wilson's Road from Hannah Montana Impersonator to the Opry". The Boot. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  5. ^ Dukes, Billy (May 17, 2017). "Lainey Wilson's Perfectly Abnormal Journey to Nashville". Taste of Country. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  6. ^ a b BrowJason (November 29, 2021). "Lainey Wilson: 5 Things To Know AboutCountry Music's Rising Star". Hollywood Life. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  7. ^ Wilson, Lainey (April 8, 2016). "Tougher (CD Liner Notes and Album Information)". Lone Chief. 5638676569.
  8. ^ a b "Lainey Wilson chart history (Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  9. ^ Hollabaugh, Lorie (March 6, 2018). "Lainey Wilson Joins Sony/ATV Roster". Music Row. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  10. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (August 13, 2018). "Exclusive: Lainey Wilson Signs With Broken Bow Records". Music Row. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Emerging Country: From 'LA' to the Grand Ole Opry, 'Dirty Looks' Singer Lainey Wilson's Dream Is Realized". Billboard. February 28, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  12. ^ "Lainey Wilson's 'Redneck Hollywood' Is A True Representation of The Power of Women in Country Music". Off the Record UK. September 14, 2019. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  13. ^ Tingle, Lauren. "CMT Listen Up Reveals 2019 Class". Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  14. ^ Tingle, Lauren. "CMT's Next Women of Country Inspire Positive Change". Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  15. ^ Sawyer, Bobbie Jean (December 13, 2021). "Songs From the Bunkhouse: Lainey Wilson on Being Featured on 'Yellowstone,' the 'Coolest Cowboy Show of All Time'". Wide Open Country. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  16. ^ Liptak, Carena (August 28, 2020). "LISTEN: Lainey Wilson's 'Things a Man Oughta Know'". Taste of Country. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  17. ^ "3/3/21: Up Next USA Spotlight". Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  18. ^ Mastrogiannis, Nicole. "Lainey Wilson: What You 'Oughta Know' About 'Bell Bottom Country' Star". Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  19. ^ Konicki, Lisa (January 28, 2021). "Spotify Reveals First-Ever Hot Country Artists To Watch 2021 List". Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  20. ^ "Pandora Announces Country Artists to Watch for 2020". December 17, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  21. ^ Asker, Jim (December 2, 2021). "Billboard's Top New Country Artist Of 2021 Lainey Wilson on the 10 Years Leading Up to Her First No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  22. ^ Wilson, Lainey (February 19, 2021). "Sayin' What I'm Thinkin (CD Liner Notes and Album Information)". BBR Music Group.
  23. ^ Dukes, Billy (February 19, 2021). "Album Review: Lainey Wilson, Sayin' What I'm Thinkin". Taste of Country. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  24. ^ Ellwood-Hughes, Pip (February 19, 2021). "Lainey Wilson – "Sayin' What I'm Thinkin'" review". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  25. ^ "Jason Aldean: Back In The Saddle Tour 2021 To Launch This August With Special Guests Hardy And Lainey Wilson". Live Nation Entertainment. May 17, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  26. ^ Farthing, Lydia (December 2, 2021). "Cole Swindell & Lainey Wilson Join Forces On Fiery Duet, 'Never Say Never' [Interview]". Music Row. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  27. ^ NA, Jess (April 27, 2022). "Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson Reach No. 1 with 'Never Say Never'". Taste of Country. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  28. ^ Freeman, Jon. "Lainey Wilson Tames a Wild Horse in the New 'Heart Like a Truck' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  29. ^ "First-Timer Lainey Wilson Leads Nominations for 2022 CMA Awards: Full List". Billboard.
  30. ^ a b Parker, Ryan (November 15, 2022). "Lainey Wilson 'Had so Much Fun' Watching Her Acting Debut in the 'Yellowstone' Season 5 Premiere". People. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  31. ^ Daykin, James (May 6, 2023). "MacKenzie Porter releases the Lainey Wilson-penned 'Chasing Tornadoes' from her upcoming debut album". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  32. ^ Freeman, Jon (December 23, 2021). "Lainey Wilson Doesn't Sound Like Anyone Else in Nashville. It Helped Make 2021 Her Year". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  33. ^ Freeman, Jon (March 26, 2020). "Lainey Wilson Looks to Dolly Parton's Example in 'WWDD' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  34. ^ Sawyer, Bobbie Jean (June 4, 2021). "Rooted in Country: Lainey Wilson Says Lee Ann Womack's 'I Hope You Dance' Spoke to Her 'Big Dreams'". Wide Open Country. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  35. ^ DeSantis, Rachel (October 26, 2022). "Lainey Wilson Says Her Dad Is 'Doing Great' After Suffering Stroke, Losing Eye to Infection". People. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  36. ^ Giang-Paunon, Stephanie; Fink, Larry (November 10, 2022). "CMAs 2022: Lainey Wilson on winning Female Vocalist of the Year, walking with dad on carpet: 'A dream'". Fox News. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  37. ^ Wright, Tracy (April 8, 2023). "'Yellowstone' star Lainey Wilson almost quit the country drama before making her acting debut". Fox News. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  38. ^ Young, Casey (December 22, 2022). "Lainey Wilson Responds With Dump Truck Meme After Video Of Her Butt Goes Mega Viral". Whiskey Riff. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  39. ^ Young, Casey (February 14, 2023). "Lainey Wilson Reveals How She Got Her Famous Butt". Whiskey Riff. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  40. ^ Irvin, Jack; Michaud, Sarah (May 11, 2023). "Lainey Wilson is Dating Former NFL Player Devlin 'Duck' Hodges: Couple Make Their Debut at 2023 ACM Awards". Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  41. ^ "Lainey Wilson on Her Recently Debuted Relationship & New Collaboration With Dolly Parton" (video). The Bobby Bones Show. June 2, 2023.
  42. ^ Nicholson, Jessica. "2021 CMT Music Awards: All The Winners". Country Music Television. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  43. ^ a b "Search winners: Lainey Wilson". Academy of Country Music. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  44. ^ "CMT Music Awards 2022: Complete list of winners and nominees". CBS News. April 11, 2022. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  45. ^ "Lainey Wilson leads 56th CMA Awards noms; Chris Stapleton, Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde not far behind". September 7, 2022.

External links[edit]