Lainey Wilson is having the life she once dreamed of, and maybe more. The 31-year-old has emerged as one of the biggest stars in country music, headlining shows, scoring No. 1 singles and amassing multiple awards.
The Louisiana native says it is all a combination of hard work, an unwavering belief in herself — even when no one else did — and acceptance from a genre that opened its doors wide for her, and her unique, and very country, style of music.
“It’s going to that deep inner place and pulling from there, just staying true to yourself and staying true to your story,” Wilson tells Glamour of the secret to her overwhelming success. “If something pains your spirit, it’s probably not that smart for you to do. You have to be able to lay your head down at night—or look back in 30 years—and be proud of what you do or say. As a female in country music, you do hit some roadblocks, but I’m the kind of person, I just take it and I’m like, ‘All right, well, watch out, boys, because we’re coming for you all.'”
Wilson, the first solo female artist to win the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy since Taylor Swift won in 2011, credits the genre for being so accepting of her, her deep (and authentic) country accent, her bell bottoms and more.
“I feel like country music is experiencing a big shift, and I’m proud to be a part of that shift,” Wilson praises. “I think women’s voices are needed, and I think people are going to be talking about this generation of country music like they did back in the ’90s. I think it’s bigger and more important than it’s been in a very, very long time, and I think a lot of it has to do with the Western way of life. Everybody wants to feel grounded and at home, and I think country music makes you feel that way, and I think women voices make you feel that way too.”
The last few years for Wilson have been a whirlwind, but she still finds a way to stay rooted and secure with who she is, in spite of her fame and numerous accomplishments.
“For me, it’s being at home, getting up, making my coffee, sitting on the front porch, watching the cows out in the front pasture, watching the sheep in the backyard,” Wilson shares. “Also, FaceTiming with my nephews, they’ll keep you real humble. It’s just about surrounding yourself with people who feel like family, too, even if they’re not blood kin.
“I love bonfires,” she continues. “I love having a glass of whiskey, talking to the Lord, getting grounded, meditating. The truth is these past couple of years I’ve spent very little time at home. And so, you just find ways to make yourself feel at home when you’re not actually there.”