2023 CMA Awards: Lainey Wilson Wins Female Vocalist of the Year

Lainey Wilson is continuing her reign as Female Vocalist of the Year, for the second year in a row, at the CMA Awards. The “Watermelon Moonshine” singer already won Album of the Year, for Bell Bottom Country, plus Video of the Year and Musical Event of the Year, both for her “wait in the truck” with HARDY.

“This is for all of the hardworking ladies that I know, that I don’t know,” Wilson said. “I see you. And also, I just wanna share something with you, for all you little girls watching, and for the ones that are here tonight too. It’s something that I’m doing. I’m getting up every single day and I’m looking at myself in the mirror and saying, ‘I’m beautiful, I’m smart, and I’m talented. I’m godly, I’m fearless.’ If somebody tells me I can’t do it, hold my beer. Watch this, y’all.

“We’ve been having to blaze trails from the very beginning,” she continued. And I just want to say, thank you so much for letting me be a part of that. And here’s to all the ladies who blaze trails every single day.”

Wilson recently celebrated her fifth No. 1 hit, with “Watermelon Moonshine,” from Bell Bottom Country. She was nominated for a total of nine CMA Awards ahead of the live ceremony, a far cry from where she was just a few years ago.

“Everybody thinks when you sign a record deal that you’re doing fine,” Wilson shared on the Great Creators podcast with Guy Raz (via Country Now). “And everybody thinks when you sign a publishing deal that, ‘Oh, she ain’t hurting,’ but that’s not the truth, at all. We’re just out here trying to pay our bills just like everybody else.”

Truthfully, the Louisiana native only had $26 in her bank account when the song began to climb the charts.

“During that time of my life, we were coming out of the pandemic, still in it some, and it was hard times,” Wilson remembers. “I was not able to go play shows and make any money. I mean, I was just living off of what I had and a little bit of that publishing draw. Times were rough, but I knew it was just right around the corner. My sister had to Venmo me $200 so I could go to Taco Bell that night. But times are different now.”

Wilson will headline both her global Lainey Wilson: LIVE Tour, and her Country’s Cool Again Tour. Find music and tour dates at LaineyWilson.com.