The Untold Truth Of Lainey Wilson

Lainey Wilson is one of country music's hottest rising stars these days thanks to her hit single "Things a Man Oughta Know," which is off her well-reviewed 2021 debut album "Sayin' What I'm Thinkin.'" It's safe to say that Wilson may be thinking about how she has come a long way since her days growing up in rural Louisiana and working as an impersonator of a certain Disney star. For example, in 2020, Wilson got to perform at the legendary Grand Ole Opry. The following year, she took the stage at CMA Summer Jam, as well as toured with major headliners Jason Aldean and HARDY.

Wilson has always been driven to succeed. She explained in her website's bio, "I was raised to go after what you want. I'm very strong-willed and I'm one of those people that I'm not going to give up no matter what." It appears her strong work ethic is paying off since "Things a Man Oughta Know" has topped the country radio charts.

Wilson isn't just a talented singer and songwriter — it's clear from her style choices that she's also quite unique as a person and even more so as an artist. This could have something to do with the very interesting life Wilson led even before she worked her way up to chart-topping status. So let's learn more about the self-described "#bellbottomcountry music" star.

Lainey Wilson grew up on a farm

You could say Lainey Wilson is the real deal when it comes to country music because she actually grew up in the country on her family's farm. According to RFD TV, Wilson was raised in Baskin, Louisiana, where her dad grew corn, oats, and wheat. She has credited her upbringing for her success because she learned to work hard. She explained in her bio, "A lot of my values and why I'm the way I am, comes from my people," adding, "I get up and not every single day is the same, but it's what I do."

Despite her presumably busy schedule, it seems visiting the farm is still something that's important to Wilson. She gushed to RFD TV, "It's fun to come home, and they'll throw me on a tractor ... Feels good to get back to my roots." Wilson also says her time in Baskin boosts her creativity. "I just get so inspired when I come back here ... this is a blue collar town; so many people just bust their tail here to provide for their families," she revealed.

For Wilson, farming is more than just growing food; it's a way of life. She made that clear in the caption of an Instagram photo of her on a tractor. She wrote, "Farming is a whole lot like anything in life. If you wanna see it grow ... you gotta take care of it, water it, try to keep all the bad bugs away from it, and pray over it."

She knew she was meant to make music

Lainey Wilson knew from a very young age that music was meant to play a huge part in her life. She recalled to Songwriter Universe, "I sang my first song in public at my kindergarten graduation. I just felt at home onstage, and I knew that this was something I wanted to do." It also helped that her parents encouraged her passion. She dished, "​​When I was 11, my daddy showed me a few chords on the guitar and that opened the door for my songwriting."

In her website bio, Wilson revealed that she and her father would also listen to the likes of "Glen Campbell, Hank Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Buck Owens," and her grandfather would take her to bluegrass performances. This impacted how a young Wilson came up with her own songs. She told People, "I started writing songs about cigarettes and tequila, and let me tell you, we didn't have alcohol in the house and my parents didn't smoke." Wilson further explained, "It was those kinds of things I kept hearing in country songs."

Even as a child, Wilson had her sights set on making it big. In a BBR Music Group press release, she stated, "I'm a proud Louisianan, and always will be, but from a very early age I've had stars in my eyes for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and I'd like to think that little twinkle helped propel me toward following my dreams." 

Lainey Wilson lived in a trailer

Lainey Wilson eventually realized that she'd have to move away from her home to make it as a country music artist. She told Songwriter Universe that she performed "with a band for a few years" before concluding, "If I'm going to take this thing to the next level, that I need to be in Nashville." She continued, "So I bought a wonderful camper trailer when I was 19, and I hauled it to Nashville."

According to Billboard, Wilson was able to park her trailer outside a family friend's recording studio. She joked, "I was known as that crazy girl with the trailer back then." But life in the trailer wasn't easy. The singer-songwriter recalled to Lyric Magazine, "It would be raining outside, but it would sound like hail from inside the trailer. I thought I was going to blow away a couple of times during storms." Wilson added, "Then there were plumbing problems with the trailer as well, which meant I would run out of hot water fairly regularly."

But the "Tougher" singer knew that she had to stick it out to "meet the right people who could help connect the dots on the way to success." However, her rise to fame didn't happen overnight. Wilson revealed to Forbes, "I was in Nashville for seven years before I was offered a publishing deal." She added, "I knew it would take a long time ... but anything worth having, you have to work for it."

The songwriter's lyrics resonate with fans

Lainey Wilson's music has really resonated with fans, especially her song "Things a Man Oughta Know." She dished to Taste of Country, "So many people are connecting to it, across the board. I've heard from guys who gave up and did get it wrong — they're like, 'I wish I heard your song sooner.'" Luckily, Wilson was able to help save one relationship before it was too late. She gushed about how a woman who was headed for divorce "sent the song to her husband and ... now they're better than ever." She pointed out, "He really took the song to heart." Wilson dished that she and her co-writers wanted the song to be "relatable," but she confessed, "We didn't know we were going to save a marriage."

The single has been inspiring in other ways, as well. Wilson told BBR Music Group, "I've heard from mothers, from single mothers, from dads who are trying to teach their girls a few things a man oughta know." She believes it has an especially important message for female listeners, explaining to Taste of Country in 2019, "We need to know how to treat people, we need to know how we want to be treated."

Wilson's song "Tougher" has had a similar impact. The singer revealed that a fan told her she began listening to it "every single morning" after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.

Lainey Wilson was a Hannah Montana impersonator

Before getting famous for being herself, Lainey Wilson had a brief career performing as someone else — Disney's "Hannah Montana," to be exact. The Louisiana native told Taste of Country, "Throughout high school I impersonated Hannah Montana, that was my high school job." It turned out to be the perfect job for Wilson. She added, "It taught me so much about stage performance and like getting out there and just doing the thing."

Wilson explained to Lyric Magazine that she was 14 years old when she just kind of just fell into playing the character made famous by Miley Cyrus. "It was my 8th grade teacher who asked me to dress up and show up to her little girls' birthday party to begin with ... so I went and bought some karaoke tracks and put on a show for her," she said. Apparently, she was quite good. Wilson recalled, "Word spread like wildfire, which meant I went to Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Memphis as Hannah Montana, sometimes even playing 2-3 shows a day."

Performing as Hannah affected Wilson's musical aspirations. She told Songwriter Universe, "Every now and then they would let me open up the show for Hannah, and that even made it more evident to me that performing was what I'm supposed to be doing, along with songwriting." While Wilson obviously went on to become a star in her own right, we can't think of a cooler way to earn some cash in high school!

The musician is a huge Dolly Parton fan

Lainey Wilson has something in common with Miley Cyrus besides her past playing Hannah Montana — she, too, possesses a special fondness for Dolly Parton, who is actually Cyrus' godmother. Wilson told Billboard that Parton is her "hero" and "dream collaborator." Parton is also someone whose career she'd like to emulate, because she admires how Parton and Reba McEntire "don't sugarcoat anything." Wilson respects how both women have managed to keep things interesting over the years, adding, "They've somehow stayed in the game for a very long time. Whether that means acting or putting out new music, whatever, they're still relevant"

For Wilson, it's Parton in particular who "can do no wrong." She told Songwriter Universe, "I really like everything about the lady — her personality, her songwriting, her singing. And she's an incredible businesswoman. But more importantly, she has a heart of gold."

Wilson even went as far as to write a song about her idol called "WWDD," in which she sings about going through life asking herself, "What would Dolly do?" in certain situations. Per BBR Music Group, she revealed that when it came to writing a song about Parton, "It makes sense. I don't know anyone who don't love Dolly." This helps explain why her fans love to sing along to it. "Dolly is an international icon and role model for a lot of folks around the world, so it's an easy song for a lot of people to relate to," Wilson added.

Inside Lainey Wilson's songwriting process

It's clear that for Lainey Wilson, her song "Things A Man Oughta Know" was the breakthrough single she needed to reach new levels in her career. But surprisingly, Wilson admitted that she didn't come up with the idea for it. She told Songwriter Universe that she actually worked on the song with two male songwriters and that one of them, Jason Nix, came up with the concept. She recalled, "He was like, 'Man, it'd be cool to run it by Lainey and see what her thoughts are.' When he brought up the title, I said, 'Y'all gonna be here all day long, because there's a long list of the things that you men oughta know.'"

Wilson then tapped into her childhood for inspiration. She dished, "My parents made sure that I knew how to do stuff around a farm. So we talked about that for awhile, and we dove deeper and talked about the characteristics that my parents taught me to look for in myself and in other people." She detailed to Fault what some of those characteristics were. "They made sure I knew the importance of being honest, loyal, and kind. That's the foundation of this song," she said.

When it comes to writing songs, Wilson told People, "I feel like it's easier for me to just lay it all out there and let the walls down completely," adding, "It can be extremely scary to be so vulnerable and real, but that's just me."

She had a bad breakup

It appears that Lainey Wilson is single as of this writing, which may be because she's still recovering from having her heart broken. According to People, the "Dirty Looks" singer dated her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart for seven years. Wilson gushed, "He was the only thing I had ever known. We grew up together. He was my best friend. We saw each other through a lot of different phases in our life." However, Wilson decided she had to break things off with him if she wanted to make it in the music business, admitting, "I knew I would have to leave something behind, so I could try to do the damn thing in Nashville."

Wilson may still be hurt about how it went down, but she channels her pain into her music. Her song "Rolling Stone" in particular touches on how she can't be tied down, with lyrics like, "Baby, my heart runs wild and free. You gotta know 'fore you fall for me. Like a feather in the wind, I could be gone. You don't give a rock to a rolling stone." 

While Wilson's relationship with her first love didn't work out, she seemingly has no regrets, telling People, "I am a firm believer that people come into your life for seasons and for reasons. They are put there so you can grow and learn from them. And when someone is in your life for so long, you learn a whole heck of a lot."

Lainey Wilson worked for her success

Lainey Wilson has come a long way from her days of living in a camper on a friend's property. According to Popular Net Worth, Wilson is already worth about $300,000. It's safe to say that number will keep rising since her career is only starting to take off, and Wilson has been working to make this happen for a long time. She told Billboard, "The first time that I ever actually made money playing a show, I was 9."

Wilson's first major gig wasn't very lucrative: singing at a friend's convenience store opening. She recalled, "He gave me $20 and I sang all 10 of my songs I had written at that point, and I actually still have the $20 bill." From there, Wilson went on to work as a Hannah Montana impersonator for five years before making it as a country artist.

It appears that Wilson is finally enjoying the benefits of all her hard work. She revealed to Sounds Like Nashville, "It's really just starting to come together, which just shows that if you stick to your guns, your dreams will come to fruition." She now has the money to enjoy some luxuries, too. She posted a vacation video on her Instagram, captioning it, "I'm real grateful for a job that keeps me on the go but I'm also grateful for the moments I have to sit this tail in a hot tub and look up at the Washington trees."

The country singer has a dog and horses

Lainey Wilson has a passion for animals, especially her dogs. She even sings about the pain of losing one in her song "Keeping Bars In Business." She told Fault, "She was the dog that moved to Nashville with me in my camper. ... If you have a pet, you know they quickly become part of your family and if you've lost one, you know how hard it is to let them go."

But as Wilson suggested in an Instagram post, "When life gets ya down, go buy a dog," and that's exactly what she did. In June 2020, she introduced her followers to her new French Bulldog, Hippie. Since then, Hippie has not only appeared on Wilson's Instagram, but the dog has also joined her during interviews. While talking to East Idaho News via video chat, she joked that Hippie is "spoiled rotten, and she takes up the entire bed."

Because of Wilson's roots in farming and rodeos, she has an affinity for horses, too. She grew up riding, but it's a rare treat these days. "I don't get to ride a lot," she told Ottawa's Pure Country 94. "My horses are back at home, and it's just a part of my life that I'm missing." When Wilson does go home, she makes sure to spend time with them. She shared an Instagram video of herself riding that was captioned, "Meet my horse, Tex. He taught me to take life by the reins and hold on tight."

Lainey Wilson has her own style

It's clear from the way she dresses that Lainey Wilson has her own individual sense of style. She even has her own name for it, telling Forbes, "I call my style of my music and my aesthetic bell bottom country." And while Wilson clearly loves to rock bell-bottom pants, her love for vintage goes much deeper. She explained, "I might not know the story behind it, but it just feels nice to wear something that has character and know that there's a story within the clothes."

Wilson realized her style was bohemian when she was gifted a bell-bottom set as a child. She recalled, "I wore that all the time ... I have always been obsessed with these kinds of things." Yet Wilson wasn't just into the retro hippie vibe — she also enjoyed trying on some of the fancier pieces that her grandmother owned. "I was the only grandkid interested in vintage. I wanted to dig through her closet and see her rabbit fur coats and prance around the house in them," she added.

These days, Wilson's love of fashion is truly paying off. The singer did a collaboration with the Lil Bees Bohemian boutique "to bring you a collection of pieces that are kind redneck, kinda Hollywood, and 100% bell bottom country." While Wilson does work with a stylist sometimes, it seems she is staying true to her authentic self by rocking a wardrobe full of funky bell-bottoms, head scarfs, and hats.

Her music appeared on Yellowstone

Lainey Wilson was able to reach a bigger audience with her music, thanks to the hit TV series "Yellowstone." Several of Wilson's songs have appeared on the soundtrack for the Kevin Costner-led drama. Wilson explained to Ottawa's Pure Country 94 why this has been a major deal for her, saying, "It really has introduced my music to a lot of people that don't go to shows or don't listen to the radio."

The big career boon came after Wilson met the show's creator, Taylor Sheridan, at a rodeo in Las Vegas. She recalled, "We just kind of became friends, and he was like, 'Hey, send me your music. If I feel like it's the perfect fit, then we'll see what we can do.' So it's just been a huge blessing for my life." According to Taste of Country, Wilson even got to visit one of the show's sets in August 2020 on a ranch in Darby, Montana, where she played a concert for the cast and crew. She shared that special moment on her Instagram page.

While Wilson is obviously thankful for what "Yellowstone" has done for her, she appears to be a big fan, as well. "I grew up in the rodeo world and my Daddy was a horse trader alongside being a farmer," she said, per BBR Music Group. "So when I sit down to watch this show, it reminds me so much of my childhood and the cowboy that raised me."

Lainey Wilson loves to perform for fans

It appears that it's important to Lainey Wilson to put on a good show for fans. The "Dreamcatcher" singer told Fault the advice she received from fellow country artist Jeannie Seely: "When you step foot out there on that stage, it's not about you. It's about the people. ... Go out there and make them feel something." Wilson said that now while she's performing, "I feel like I have to put out a high level of energy so I can make sure the audience receives that energy and connects with the music."

In 2021, Wilson joined Jason Aldean and HARDY on the "Back in the Saddle Tour." She told Ottawa Pure Country 94 how much their performances have inspired her, gushing, "Both of those guys put on a heck of a show, and I get to sit there side stage every single night." She added, "When I tell you they know how to connect to people, they do it."

Yet it appears that Wilson doesn't need any help reaching her fans. "It's been happening lately for every show that I've been playing, but I still feel like I cannot prepare myself for it, is when people know every word for 'Things a Man Oughta Know,'" she told Taste of Country. "I literally saw people back there by the dang concession stands singing every word." It's clear Wilson has something special and this is only just the beginning for her "bell bottom country music."