Lainey Wilson is the most-nominated artist heading into the 2023 CMA Awards, with an astonishing nine nods, including for the night’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year, plus two for Musical Event of the Year, for her “wait in the truck” duet with HARDY, and her “Save Me” duet with Jelly Roll .
The “Watermelon Moonshine” singer shared her shock on social media, soon after the nominations were announced.
“Holy moly y’all. Someone pinch me,” Wilson gushed. “I can’t believe my eyes. I’m so proud of everything we’ve done this year for my own music and these collabs with my brothers HARDY and Jelly Roll. Thank y’all for having me on these songs Being nominated in each of these categories amongst my friends means the world to me.
“And the coveted Entertainer Of The Year category?! It’s absolutely surreal,” she continued. “We bust our butts out there on the road every dang night to give y’all the best show possible and I have the time of my life doing it. All I gotta say is thank y’all. I love country music.”
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…
Wilson might now be having the career she once only dreamed about, but she is far from an instant success story. The Louisiana native spent several years in Nashville, some of them living out of a tiny camper, while she struggled to get her music heard, and carve her own path in country music.
“I would walk up and down Music Row in Nashville and pass out my demos and my CDs,” Wilson told People. “I had a lot of folks slam the door in my face. There were some hard times, there were some rough days, times when I should have probably packed it up and went home, hooked the trailer to the back of the truck and said, ‘I can’t do this.’ But I’ve always had a really weird sense of peace knowing that this is the only thing I know how to do.”
Although those years were long and hard, the 31-year-old is now grateful that nothing in country music was easy for her.
“I’m very grateful that it has taken me a long time [to get here],” Wilson acknowledged. “There are moments where I wish things would’ve happened a little sooner, but the truth is I wasn’t ready. I think time was supposed to be a big part of my story.”
Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning will return as hosts of the live ceremony. The 2023 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, November 8, at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. More information can be found at CMAAwards.com.