NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The stars have lined up for singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson, whose unique and authentic style of country music has made her one of the genre’s most acclaimed new artists.
The Louisiana-born artist was honored as Emerging Artist of the Year at the CMT Artists of the Year special, airing Friday on CMT. Successful producers Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson and Walker Hayes were also named artists of the year and Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson received the CMT Artist of Life award during the pre-recorded show.
Wilson, who landed a regular role on the hit show “Yellowstone” next season, said it wasn’t luck but persistence that earned her all the accolades this year.
“It looks like the hard work is finally starting to pay off,” Wilson said before recording the CMT show on Wednesday. “I’ve been here for 11 years and I love my job. I love country music. I’ve never taken ‘no’ for an answer.”
Wilson has even more excitement coming this fall, heading to the Country Music Association Awards in November as the main nominated in her first year ever to be nominated. Wilson is only the fourth artist in CMA history to earn six nominations in his first year, after Glen Campbell, Brad Paisley and Kacey Musgraves.
She’s already planning her red carpet outfit, which will likely reflect her 70s country bohemian style and lots of vintage-style jewelry. His next album “Bell Bottom Country” explains this quite clearly.
“I’m a huge fan of throwing anything back into the past. I started wearing flared pants every day, probably about six or seven years ago, just because it was the most real thing to me, “Wilson said.
And he has already chosen his date.
“My dad is going to walk the CMA mat with me,” she said. “He’s been sick for the past few months and is growing and that has given him something to really look forward to.”
Pearce, meanwhile, reflected on her senior year, which was anchored by her critically acclaimed album “29: Written in Stone” due out in 2021. She was named Singer of the Year by both the CMA and the Academy of Country. Music and its duet with Ashley McBryde, “Never Wanted to Be That Girl”, became an award-winning country hit No. 1. She joined the Grand Ole Opry last year and will be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
“It was mind blowing,” Pearce said before recording CMT Artists of the Year. “So I just want to make sure I don’t lose sight of those things and lose sight of childhood dreams that have come true.”
Hayes’ viral hit “Fancy Like” led to her first Grammy nomination last year and opened her country pop sound to a whole new audience. Pop singer and model Ciara discovered Hayes when she hosted the show “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin ‘Eve” and she wanted to join him in a country song.
They are collaborating on a new remix of “Y’All Life”, due out on Friday, which will debut in the television special.
“I could pinch myself to be here right now in this environment because it’s a special world and I’m so honored to be a part of it,” said Ciara, who said her husband, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, loved the new. remix.
Hayes joked that he was nominated a lot but never won anything, so he credited his label, management and family for always supporting him.
“It’s a lot of hard work from a great team that believed in something a little bit quirky,” he said. “My team deserves it. My wife and children deserve it.”