Lainey Wilson Recalls Being Turned Down by ‘The Voice’ 7 Times

Lainey Wilson auditioned for The Voice a total of seven times, never making it past the first round. The reigning CMA and  ACM Entertainer of the Year finds it ironic now, especially after her recent performance on the reality TV talent show, where she was invited by Reba McEntire to become the next member of the Grand Ole Opry.

“I didn’t even make it to the part where they turn the chairs around,” Wilson tells Entertainment Tonight with a laugh. “But it just kind of lit a fire under me, and I said, ‘You gotta keep on going.'”

Wilson certainly didn’t need The Voice, or any other TV show, for her to find success in country music. The Louisiana native has a Top 25 hit with “Hang Tight Honey,” which she released after celebrating her seventh consecutive No. 1 hit, with “Wildflowers and Wild Horses.”

“It’s been wild,” Wilson admits. “But we have been celebrating every step of the way, and I’m so glad to be here.”

Wilson has another venture to keep her busy besides her music career. The singer-songwriter’s Bell Bottoms Up Bar opens on Friday, May 31, the culmination of a dream she held onto for years.

“I’m very excited,” Wilson gushes. “I always said if I had a bar downtown — I put it out there — I said, ‘It’s gonna be called Bell Bottoms Up. And it’s just the perfect time. When you see everything that’s happening down there on Broadway, I’m glad to have a little sign down there too.”

Wilson’s career could have started earlier, and with a lot less blood, sweat and tears, if she had been able to compete on a show like The Voice. But the 32-year-old says she is now grateful for her entire journey, even the really hard parts.

“I didn’t know what it was going to look like, but I truly do think that that rejection and the time that it has taken me to get to this point, because, I mean, this year it’ll be 13 years that I’ve been in Nashville doing it,” Wilson tells Fox News“I think it’s really just a part of my story. And I think the Lord kind of wanted me to live a little bit more life so I could have more stories to tell, so I could relate to more people.

“That’s what it’s about,” she continues. ‘When you kind of zoom out and you think about all of this. It’s important to remember and realize, why are we doing this? And what are we doing this for? It’s just because we all want to feel something. And, I think, because of that rejection, I think people can relate to some of my stories.”

“Hang Tight Honey” is the debut single from Wilson’s Whirlwind album, out on August 23. Wilson’s Bell Bottoms Up Bar opens the same day she kicks off her headlining Country’s Cool Again Tour at Ascend Amphitheater. Find all of Wilson’s music and upcoming shows at

Read ‘Lainey Wilson: 11 Things to Know About Her Extraordinary Life and Career’ here.