Joining host Katie Neal on this week's Superstar Power Hour on Audacy Country stations nationwide, singer Lainey Wilson had plenty to talk about following a huge night at the 2023 ACMs, two American Idol performances, a double dose of truck-themed number-one singles, and more.
LISTEN NOW: Superstar Power Hour with Lainey Wilson
"We're doin' it... Like, we're really doin' it," Lainey tells Katie proudly at the start of their chat. "It feels different, because right now I feel like a lot of the A-List artists, I'm finally starting to get to know them and that's wild to me. That makes me feel like I'm starting to gain their respect and that's when I feel like I'm really doing something."
One artist Lainey is particularly excited to have connected with is 8x-GRAMMY winner Chris Stapleton. "I talked to him after the [ACM] awards," she says. "Him and his wife were very nice and said, 'We're in your corner, let us know if you need somethin.' That to me just means so much." Lainey's certain it was genuine as well, "because they ain't said it before! I look up to them a lot; I think they've done a really great job at keeping family first. They are who you think they are. Good people."
Surrounded by good people is where Lainey thrives, her "wait in the truck" collaborator HARDY being another one of those trusted souls. Lainey is incredibly proud to have been a part of such a powerful song taking on the topic of domestic violence and is excited about the video's official selection to be screened at NYC's 2023 Tribeca Film Festival this month.
"That sounds extremely fancy... I don't know if I'm going to be able to go," she says, "gonna try to figure it out. But I mean, I knew that music video was going to be special; I think it's just as important as the song. I think he was probably writing it as he was visualizing a music video at the same time. It was just awesome to be a very small part of that -- just bringing those things to life -- and it's an important message."
Lainey's growing acting experiences in music videos, and more recently her role in Paramount's Yellowstone, has definitely brewed an interest in fleshing out her own unique stories and characters at some point in her career. "I think it has to be the right time in my life," she admits. "Right now it definitely ain't happening... Girl, you oughta see my calendar! But I think maybe one day when I have a family -- but this will always be number one, the way things are going right now. Songwriting, that's my baby."
Another calendar-filler that Katie needed to get details on was Lainey's "new" beau, former NFL quarterback Devlin "Duck" Hodges, who fans caught a glimpse of on the ACMs red carpet just last month. "Let's talk about it," she said excitedly. Normally reserved to keeping her personal life out of the spotlight, Lainey admits "I've kept him private for two and a half years now. I made that boy wwwwwait!"
"I just kept it close to my chest," she says. "I share a lot of my life with the world and this is one thing that means a whole lot to me, and I want to be very careful with it." Letting the cat out of the bag last month just felt like the right time for her. "I want to share with the world, not too much, but I want to share with them my biggest cheerleader, my biggest champion. The person that I get to go home to... once or twice a year!" Lainey explained that the couple met through mutual friends in Nashville and hit it off immediately. Free beer and wine from 5-10PM dates also impressed her, as he likes to "ball on a budget," she says, just like she does. "He's just a good guy and he would never come in between me and what I want to do. He knows what it's like to have a dream; he had a dream of his own with the NFL. He's just like, 'Go girl, get it!'"
Looking ahead to Lainey's next Bell Bottom Country single, "Watermelon Moonshine," Wilson says the initial inspiration came from a simple need for a "Take you home, nostalgic kind of song. Especially in this season of my life," she admits. "I feel like I'm gravitating towards those things that make me feel like home. I'm craving that, and this song does that. It takes you back to that young, wild, crazy love -- like a time in your life when nothing else mattered and you were dang sure that you were in love. The truth is, you probably were not. You took a few sips of that moonshine and you thought you were drunk. You probably were not!"
"When I listen to the song and when I was writing the song it just takes me back to being in Baskin, my hometown, riding those back roads and hiding the bottle of whatever it was we were drinkin' under the seat. Run into the house hopin' mom and daddy didn't smell it on you. Those moments that kind of make you nod your head and just smile."
Lastly, Katie rightfully pins Lainey as one of today's go-to collaborators, asking how her feature on label mate Jelly Roll's "Save Me" came about. It was a long time in the making, Lainey admits. "Funny story, I haven't even shared this a lot, but I was an extra in a music video of his in, like 2013. It was one that he did with Uncle Kracker. I was a drunk girl, passed out on the ground... and I don't even know if you can see me in the video. That was my first interaction with Jelly, and I even knew then he was just a good dude. He's got a story to tell, it's important that his story is told -- and he's brave."
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