2023 ACM Awards: Lainey Wilson Wins Album Of the Year

If the 2023 ACM Awards belonged to anyone, it belonged to Lainey Wilson. The Louisiana native won ACM Awards for Music Event of the Year and Visual Media of the Year, both for her “wait in the truck” duet with HARDY, as well as Female Artist of the Year and Album of the Year, the latter for her 2022 Bell Bottom Country project.

While on the red carpet prior to the ceremony, Wilson said if she was going to win in a category, she hoped it was Album of the Year, wanting the trophy as much for her team as for herself.

“I feel so honored,” Wilson said after she was crowned the winner. “First of all, thank you so much to the Academy. Bell Bottom Country has been a labor of love. Thank you to my producer, Jay Joyce, the incredible songwriters, who sometimes know what I’m trying to say better than I do, the musicians who played on this record. You all helped me find what Bell Bottom Country sounds like.

“I wrote 300 songs during the pandemic, and a lot of folks have shared with me that this album has changed their life,” she continued. “But the truth is, writing the songs for this album saved mine. Bell Bottom Country is country with a flare. It’s a state of mind and I’m always there.

When accepting her Female Artist of the Year award, Wilson honored  Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda LambertAshley McBryde and Carly Pearce, who shared the category with Wilson.

“The ladies in this category, I look up to you all so much,” Wilson said. “I’m up here because of y’all. Because of people like Dolly Parton paving the way. I’ll tell you what. Everybody in this category didn’t just wind up there by happenstance. They have worked their fingers to the bone. They have put blood, sweat and tears and years into this.

“I’ve made so many sacrifices,” she continued. “I’ve missed a lot of weddings, a lot of funerals — not that I want to go to a lot of them anyway — but I’m just saying. For the little girls watching this, this right here, it stands for hard work. If you’re gonna be a dreamer, you better be a doer.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Academy of Country Music