Lainey Wilson Was Completely Broke Before ‘Things A Man Oughta Know’

Lainey Wilson has taken the country music world by storm, but she is far from a rags-to-riches story. The Louisiana native recalls a time not that long ago, when she was completely broke, even though she already had a publishing deal, and had signed a record deal with her current label, Broken Bow Records.

“Everybody thinks when you sign a record deal that you’re doing fine,” Wilson shares 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.”

Wilson had already recorded some music, including her debut single, “Things a Man Oughta Know,” which also became her first No. 1 hit. But while success seemed almost within her reach, she was down to about $26 in her checking account, with no idea when her big break would come.

“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.”

Different, indeed. The 31-year-old is heading into the upcoming CMA Awards as the most-nominated artist, with nine nods, including one for the night’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year. She’s had a string of hits, including “Heart Like a Truck” and “Watermelon Moonshine,” plus collaborations with Cole Swindell,  HARDY and Jelly Roll.

Wilson never doubted she would eventually find success, even if it took her longer than some of her peers, but she is glad that it happened with “Things A Man Oughta Know.”

Holy moly y’all. Someone pinch me. I can’t believe my eyes. 🥹 I’m so proud of everything we’ve done this year for my own…

Posted by Lainey Wilson on Thursday, September 7, 2023


“When we got into the studio, I knew it was a special song, but I didn’t know that this was going to be the one that really did lay that foundation for what I wanted to build off of,” Wilson says. “I’m so glad that it was this one because this song is who I am. This song is how I was raised. My parents made dang sure that I knew how to treat somebody, but also how I wanted to be treated. And this is not a song about whether you can change a flat tire or start a fire. I mean, this is a song about having good character, and that right there is not something that just a man ought to know.

“It’s something that we all need to know,” she adds. “So I’m glad that this was the song that introduced me to a lot of folks because I want to be a light in this world. I want to show little boys and little girls that you’re supposed to work hard, you’re supposed to keep your head down, and you’re supposed to treat people right.”

Wilson might be on top of the country music world right now, but she isn’t about to slow down her nonstop work just yet. Instead, the 31-year-old says seeing her dreams come true is only motivating her to work harder than ever before.

“Just because my daddy has a good crop one year does not mean that he’s going to work less hard the next. That’s just not how it goes,” Wilson reflects. “I’m always going to be that little girl who has stars in my eyes. I’m telling you, that’s just the way that it’s going to be. And there are times where I’m like, I don’t want anybody thinking that I’m not content or satisfied with where I’m at or anything like that, but there’s a lot of things that I want to do. There’s a lot of things that I want to accomplish.”

Wilson has been announced as one of the openers for Morgan Wallen‘s 2024 One Night At A Time World Tour. All of Wilson’s music and upcoming shows can be found at

Photo Credit: Jacob Powers