Lainey Wilson is an American country music singer and songwriter who rose to fame in 2021 with her breakout hit “Things a Man Oughta Know.” She is known for her unique style that blends traditional and contemporary country sounds.
Early Life and Background
|Elaine Kaczmarek Wilson
|Date of Birth
|November 1, 1987 (age 36 years)
|Place of Birth
|Keith Kaczmarek (father)
Rhonda Kaczmarek (mother)
|Two older sisters
Lainey Wilson was born Elaine Kaczmarek Wilson on November 1, 1987 in Baskin, Louisiana. She was raised on her family’s farm in rural Louisiana alongside her two older sisters. Her parents, Keith and Rhonda Kaczmarek, supported her passion for music from a young age.
Wilson attended high school in nearby Rayville, Louisiana, where she was active in sports. After graduation, she studied agriculture in college before deciding to pursue music professionally.
Wilson taught herself how to play guitar as a teenager and started writing her own songs and performing at local venues while still in high school. Her music blended traditional country storytelling with edgier, rock-influenced instrumentation.
After college, Wilson made the move to Nashville in 2010 to devote herself fully to music. She spent years playing small bars and honky-tonks while working odd jobs to make ends meet.
Slowly but surely, Wilson made connections in Nashville and refined her songwriting craft. She landed some songwriting cuts with artists like Luke Combs and Kelsea Ballerini.
Wilson’s big break came in 2021 when she released her single “Things a Man Oughta Know.” Her honest lyrics and unique style resonated with listeners, and the song quickly shot up the charts. It peaked at number two on Billboard’s US Country Airplay chart.
Major Albums and Accolades
|Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ (2022)
|Debut studio album
|Bell Bottom Country (2022)
|First major label album, released via BBR Music Group
|ACM New Female Artist of the Year (2022)
|First major industry award
The success of “Things a Man Oughta Know” set the stage for even bigger things to come. Wilson signed with the label BBR Music Group and released her debut major label album, “Bell Bottom Country,” in 2022.
The album was a smash success. It debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, solidifying Wilson as one of the brightest new stars in country music. She was named ACM New Female Artist of the Year in 2022.
Musical Style and Influences
Wilson has carved out a unique lane in contemporary country music thanks to her blending of traditional and edgy sounds. Her music pays homage to old-school country storytelling all while sounding fresh and modern.
Some key aspects of Wilson’s musical style include:
- Vocals: Wilson has a very distinctive voice – raspy, resonant, and dripping with twang. Her fiery vocal delivery packs an emotional punch.
- Lyrics: The lyrics in Wilson’s songs feel raw and authentic, touching on universal themes like love, heartbreak, family, and rural small-town life. She’s an adept storyteller.
- Instrumentation: While staying rooted in country, Wilson incorporates some grittier sounds more common in southern rock and blues. Lots of distorted guitar licks and driving percussion.
Some of the artists that have influenced Wilson’s style include Alison Krauss, Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, The Rolling Stones, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The diversity of her influences allows her to fuse sounds in ways that feel totally fresh.
Wilson keeps her personal life fairly private. While her songs undeniably pull from real-life experiences, she prefers to let the lyrics speak for themselves.
She has been in a long-term relationship with fellow songwriter Ryan Hurd since around 2013. Wilson and Hurd collaborated on several songs and supported each other pursuing music in Nashville before Hurd found success himself as a solo act.
Outside of music, Wilson enjoys the outdoors and stays active by hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and more. Those rural southern roots clearly run deep. She also has the name of her hometown, Baskin, Louisiana, tattooed on her arm.
Even with all her recent fame, Wilson remains grounded in her identity as a small-town girl who got her start singing in local honky-tonks.
Lainey Wilson’s Impact on Country Music
In just a few short years, Lainey Wilson has become one of country music’s most recognizable new artists. With her throwback sound and personal songwriting, she is breathing new life into the genre and expanding definitions of what country can sound like.
Reviving Traditional Country Themes
Modern country radio has drifted toward pop sensibilities. Wilson’s style harkens back to classic country storytelling, highlighting relatableslice-of-life vignettes centered on family, heartache, rural small towns, and following your dreams.
By scoring major hits as a more traditional artist, Wilson is helping open up space for Americana styles to thrive in mainstream country music. There is still a substantial audience hungering for the classic themes and twang that first made country popular.
Pushing the Genre Forward Sonically
While the lyrical themes feel old-school, Wilson fuses those traditional words with a more daring and eclectic Americana-inspired sound. Her palette pulls from southern rock, blues, folk, and even hints of gospel.
Wilson’s ability to make this hybrid style connect with modern audiences is influencing other artists to take more risks and incorporate non-country textures into their music. She pushes country’s sonic boundaries in an organic way.
Overcoming Industry Obstacles
For years, the Nashville music establishment overlooked Wilson. Her style didn’t seem to fit tidy radio formats. But her passionate fanbase kept growing until the industry had no choice but to start paying attention.
Wilson overcame early industry indifference through sheer talent and tenacity. Her breakthrough inspires other non-traditional country artists to keep chasing their dreams even when gatekeepers try to stifle creativity that doesn’t check all the trendy boxes. Wilson is clearing a path for the future generations of country renegades.
What Kind of Impact Will Lainey Wilson Have on Future Country Stars?
Wilson’s unique style and against-the-odds success story make her an inspirational figure for aspiring country artists. As Wilson continues exposing huge audiences to country music with integrity, here are some of the key impacts she could have on future stars within the genre:
Authenticity Above All Else
Future country singers can learn from Wilson’s commitment to authentic personal expression. She believes in letting her real experiences shape her writing, not chasing commercial trends. Wilson proves that country fans still respond to genuine emotion and vulnerability. Her rise shows new artists they don’t have to compromise their identity.
Write What You Know
Wilson’s lyrical content feels so resonant because she writes what she knows – the beauty and hardships of small towns, the highs and lows of romance, the importance of family. Up-and-coming songwriters aiming to perform their own material can take cues from Wilson by reflecting on their own lives for inspiration instead of trying to recreate someone else’s path.
Stay True to Your Roots
Even as her profile rises, Wilson proudly clings to her rural Louisiana upbringing. The unique background informs both her songwriting and sound. Wilson staying grounded in her roots has strengthened her appeal. Younger developing artists can follow her lead by embracing the quirks and experiences that make them who they are.
In just a few whirlwind years, Lainey Wilson has risen from small-town honky-tonk singer to one of country music’s most acclaimed new artists. Her throwback sound and raw lyrical authenticity have filled a niche for traditional themes in the contemporary scene.
Wilson’s unique vocal style, masterful songwriting, and diverse musical talents suggest she is only scratching the surface of her potential. As she reaches bigger audiences, Wilson will likely continue expanding definitions of commercial country music by inspiring risk-taking creativity.
The connection she’s built with core country fans feels so organic and genuine. Lainey Wilson seems poised to become the genre’s next beloved icon standing alongside the greats.
Country music history has shown that the most storied careers stem from authentic artists staying grounded in their roots while daring to be different. With early career accomplishments already rivaling top stars, the future shines especially bright for Lainey Wilson as she writes the next chapter in her unlikely success story.
FAQs About Lainey Wilson
What country singers did Lainey Wilson open for?
She opened tours for several major country stars in 2022 like Jason Aldean, Luke Combs, and Morgan Wallen during their summer stadium shows. These high-profile supporting slots introduced Wilson’s talents to huge nationwide audiences.
Where is Lainey Wilson from originally?
Wilson was born, raised, and still has family roots today in the small rural northern Louisiana town of Baskin. This upbringing in the countryside inspires much of her music’s lyrical themes.
What songs has Lainey Wilson written for other artists?
Some of the hits she’s penned include “More Hearts Than Mine” by Ingrid Andress, “Homesick” by Kane Brown, and songs cut by stars like Luke Combs and Florida Georgia Line.
s Lainey Wilson married?
No, Wilson is not currently married as of early 2023. She keeps her relationship status private. The singer has been romantically connected in media reports to Nashville songwriter Ryan Hurd for many years but neither directly confirm they are partners.