Lainey Wilson shot onto country radios everywhere in 2021 with her award-winning single, 'Things A Man Oughta Know,' and has simply not stopped since.
Over the last few years, she has built her rocket to superstardom on a foundation of vintage outlaw and southern rock, as well as edgy yet contemporary country. That, mixed with a healthy dose of vulnerable, clever and unapologetically southern songwriting, has rendered her one of the leading ladies of country music with four No. 1 records and two highly-acclaimed albums.
With a musical journey that stretches back to 2016 with her independently-released EP, Tougher, Wilson has enjoyed a rather quick rise to the upper ranks of country music fame that was bolstered by her sophomore album, Bell Bottom Country.
Throughout the 14 tracks, released in October 2022, Wilson continued to showcase her weather-worn Louisiana roots and recently received an Album of the Year honor at the 2023 ACM Awards for the project. Spawning her third No. 1 at country radio, 'Heart Like A Truck,' the record also includes fan-favorites 'Smell Like Smoke,' 'Hold My Halo,' 'Grease' and her new single 'Watermelon Moonshine.'
As is often the case with acts like Lainey who have seemingly appeared out of thin air and are now at the forefront of country fans’ minds, many big questions have come to the surface over the last few years surrounding the decorated singer-songwriter.
From where she grew up to how she got her start, and even rumors about her and longtime friend and collaborator HARDY being secretly married(?), fans have been scouring the blackhole that is Google to weed out the facts.
But not to worry, as Holler is here with all the answers to some of your burning questions about our Louisiana girl. Hopefully, we'll bring a little clarity, background and context to the powerhouse that is Lainey Wilson along the way.
Lainey Wilson was born in the small town of Baskin, Louisiana. With a population of only about 300 people, Wilson has proved herself as a proud Louisiana girl and further exemplified it with 'L.A.', a tune off of her major label debut album, Sayin' What I'm Thinkin'. An ode to her home state, the song also landed on Holler's Best Lainey Wilson Songs list.
Lainey was born on May 19, 1992, meaning she turned 30 years old earlier this year. While her discography includes topics that clearly took some life lived to learn, there's also a healthy dose of youthful, hell-raising antics throughout Wilson's music that make her artistry well-balanced.
Lainey Wilson has quite a few songs under her belt, nearly all of which she's had a hand in writing.
Across her two major label albums and a few independently released projects, the singer-songwriter has a handful of No. 1 hits, including her debut single 'Things A Man Oughta Know' and her most recent chart-topper 'Heart Like A Truck.' She's also had a pair of successful duets with 'wait in the truck' alongside HARDY and 'Never Say Never' with Cole Swindell.
Last year, Lainey Wilson took her talents to the big screen as she was featured on season five of the breakout television show Yellowstone.
Wilson's music had been featured in the show's soundtrack in prior seasons. Going all the way back to season two, viewers can hear 'Workin' Overtime,' 'Straight Up Sideways' and her tune 'Small Town Girl,' which was played during the season three finale.
Taking on the character of Abby for season five, Wilson also had several tracks from her Bell Bottom Country record included in the soundtrack, including 'Smell Like Smoke,' 'New Friends,' 'Hold My Halo' and her newest single to country radio, 'Watermelon Moonshine.'
Lainey's father is Brian Wilson... but not the Beach Boy. This Brian Wilson is a farmer, and the two have quite the tight-knit relationship as evidenced on her tune 'Those Boots (Deddy's Song).'
In July of 2022, Brian encountered some life-threatening health issues which resulted in Lainey cancelling a handful of shows. Shortly after, the Louisiana native explained that her father was suffering from a fungal infection caused by diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Over the course of a month and a half, he underwent nine surgeries and survived a stroke.
While the recovery was a little slow-rolling, Brian was on hand as Lainey's plus -one at the 2022 CMA Awards last November as she won Female Vocalist and New Artist of the Year, and they were precious as can be.
Over the last few years, many questions have arisen regarding other members of Lainey Wilson's lineage, especially about relations with celebrities like Carnie Wilson and Gretchen Wilson, though none of these are true.
The familiar story of making your bones on shows like The Voice or American Idol is one that's become rather commonplace in recent years. However, Lainey Wilson's origin story has nothing to do with any of that.
A nine-year-old Lainey, after taking her first trip to the famous Grand Ole Opry, booked her first paid gig with the opening of a new convenience store in her hometown of Baskin. Twenty bucks later, the gig lit a spark that has now grown into a full-on, raging wildfire.
Starting to pen her own lyrics and learning how to play guitar at the age of 11, she was asked to impersonate the Disney personality Hannah Montana by one of her teachers for a school project. Displaying a pretty on-the-nose take on the blonde star, the act stuck and she became a Hannah Montana tribute act, traveling across Louisiana and splitting her sets in half - the first half being her own original content and the second half closing out as Hannah.
Come 2011, Wilson packed up and moved to Nashville in a camper trailer to pursue her own music career - and the rest has quickly become history.
Though not married, Lainey is currently dating former NFL player Devlin 'Duck' Hodges.
A 27-year-old quarterback, Hodges played college football at Samford University and has spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Rams and is currently quarterback for the Ottawa Redblacks - a Canadian football team.
The pair hard-launched their relationship at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards in May (where Lainey absolutely swept four out of six awards, by the way) after months of some light flirting on social media.
The list of accolades that Lainey Wilson has earned continues to grow longer with every award ceremony, it seems.
With the Academy of Country Music (ACM) alone, Wilson took home the New Female Artist and Song of the Year ('Things A Man Oughta Know) in 2022. At this year's 58th Annual ACM Awards, she nabbed four out of six awards, including Female Artist and Album of the Year (Bell Bottom Country), as well as Visual Media and Music Event of the Year for 'wait in the truck' alongside HARDY.
At the Country Music Association (CMA), she has secured two wins thus far for Female Vocalist and New Artist of the Year in 2022, but we should expect plenty more metal to come her way this November with the 2023 edition of the CMA Awards.
She's also scored the Female Video and Collaborative Video of the Year ('wait in the truck') trophies at the 2023 CMT Music Awards, as well as the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Award for Best New Country Artist.
Lainey Wilson is currently on tour with Luke Combs on his extensive 2023 World Tour as the trek winds through the U.S. and Canada. She'll also be on hand for a selection of dates with Eric Church and will be on the road with friend and duet partner HARDY this Fall.
In addition to her own collection of headlining dates across the country, Wilson is also on tap for several festivals this summer, including CMA Fest, Barefoot Country Music Festival, Country Jam USA, Carolina Country Music Fest and more.
For all the details and dates, and there are many, check out her full tour page.
Lainey is 5 feet, 6 inches tall.
While that is a bit above the female average, here at Holler, we're pretty sure that she's actually one of the giants of modern day country music. We're not quite sure how tall that puts her at, but she seems pretty immeasurable to us!
For more on Lainey Wilson, see below:
Featured photo by Sarah Cahill.