From Hannah Montana Impersonator to Entertainer of the Year: Lainey Wilson Talks ‘Whirlwind’ Career Ahead of New Album

Lainey Wilson‘s next album, Whirlwind, is dropping on August 23, and she recently spoke about the whirlwind that has been her career lately. She went from a Hannah Montana impersonator living in her friend’s camper in Nashville, to GRAMMY winner and ACM Entertainer of the Year. It started with her breakout hit, “Things A Man Oughta Know,” but she didn’t really find her footing until she started putting a face to the songs.

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Her last album, Bell Bottom Country, began her meteoric rise to country stardom, but, as she recently told Sunday Sitdown, she hit some roadblocks along the way. “Even after ‘Things A Man Oughta Know,’ with our first hit, I could barely sell a ticket,” she explained.

Wilson continued, “It was the strangest thing. A lot of people know the songs on the radio, but they don’t know who sings them. Like I need to be on TikTok as much as I can, they need to know me as a friend, and then get to know my music. And so I really kind of lead with that foot, and then ‘Yellowstone’ happened.”

[RELATED: Watch Lainey Wilson Join The Rolling Stones to Perform the Band’s Country-Rock Classic “Dead Flowers”]

Lainey Wilson Still Couldn’t Sell a Ticket, But Yellowstone Seemed to Change That

The hit neo-Western Yellowstone featured Lainey Wilson’s music before she ever graced the set. After that, her fame started to climb, and show creator Taylor Sheridan wrote a part specifically for her. She played emerging country singer Abby, who would often play in the bar the ranch hands frequented. Fans were putting the face to the voice, and soon Wilson began to become a household name.

“These past few years have just been wild,” Wilson admitted. “Just trying to keep one foot on the ground and keep my eye on the prize, and just make sure I keep showing up to do what I said I was going to do.”

As far as the new album goes, Wilson explained that she’s staying truer to herself than she’s ever been. “I felt like I wanted to share a part of me that I didn’t even know existed, like I wanted to find that,” she said. “I think these last couple of years, because it has been a constant leveling up, I cannot let go of who I am to my core. Because the music’s not going to be the same. So, for me, when I was writing this record, I was making dang sure that both of my feet were planted on the ground.”

Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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