Lainey Wilson: KYGO’s Cheyenne Frontier Days artist of the week

May 13, 2024, 4:29 PM

Singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson, the 31-year-old who can take credit for seven number-one songs, a Grammy, six Country Music Association awards and six Academy of Country Music Awards, will perform at Cheyenne Frontier Days at 8 p.m. on July 26.

Wilson was born and raised in Baskin, La., a town with a population of around 250 people. Wilson’s dad was a farmer, her mom a schoolteacher, and both played a part in sparking her interest in music early on due to them playing the music of country greats like Glen Campbell and Buck Owens around the house. She soon learned some guitar chords from her dad and started writing songs before her teenage years. In 2006, she released “Country Girls Rule,” an EP, on Myspace. She got experience and exposure to performing by working as a Hannah Montana impersonator and frequently performed at events across Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Wilson’s early ambitions led her to Nashville, Tenn., after she graduated from high school in 2011, and lived in a trailer outside of a recording studio. The owner of the studio paid her water and electricity bills to help her scrape by.

In 2014, three years after she arrived to Music City, the “Watermelon Moonshine” singer released her first full length album, self-titled, on the Cupit label. A couple of years and a label change later, she released “Tougher” with Lone Chief Records, followed by a second EP in 2018, which was self-titled and self-released.

Her break ensued with the signing of a publishing deal with Sony/ATV, a management deal and a major-label recording contract with BBR Music Group in 2018. Success came in 2019 with her third EP, “Redneck Hollywood.” The EP was noticed by Country Music Television, and she was included in the “Listen Up” Class of 2019 and the “2019 CMT Next Women of Country” tour. She toured with Morgan Wallen that same year.

Wilson’s breakout single arrived with her first platinum-certified song, “Things a Man Oughta Know,” which reached number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and number three on Hot Country Songs. Her third studio album, “Sayin’ What I’m Thinking,” followed, including the single on the tracklist.

Her popularity grew rapidly from that point. She toured with Jason Aldean on his 2021 tour, “Back in the Saddle,” and collaborated with Cole Swindell on his single, “Never Say Never.” She put out her fourth album, “Bell Bottom Country,” in 2022, and she led the 56th Annual CMA Awards with six nominations, being the fourth artist to do so as a first-time nominee, following Glen Campbell, Brad Paisley and Kacey Musgraves.

At the CMAs a year later, she was nominated for nine awards and won five of them, including Entertainer of the Year.

The singer has also dabbled in acting, appearing in four episodes of season five of the TV series “Yellowstone,” which has featured multiple of her songs since the show’s second season. It is unclear whether or not Wilson will be included in the final season of the show.

She announced early in May that her next album, “Whirlwind,” will come out August 23.

Listen: Win tickets to see Lainey Wilson!

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