Lainey Wilson represents everything I love about country music.
She was recently honored with the Billboard Women In Music’s Rulebreaker Award, becoming the first country artist to ever receive it, and very deservedly so.
The category celebrates female acts who spread a positive message in their work, while going against the grain and norms in their industry and doing things the way they want to do it.
And in some of the pre-show press, she had some great words of wisdom to share about her journey thus far and what it’s been like the past 12 years since she moved to Nashville trying to make it in this business.
She told Billboard ahead of the event that she was never necessarily trying to break any rules, but rather keep her blinders on, so to speak, and focus on her unique gifts and talents as opposed to constantly worrying about what everyone else was doing around her:
“I feel like I have gone against the grain, I feel like I have kept my blinders on and not worried about what everybody else is doing on either side of me.
I had a lot of opinions, a lot of people tell me what I need to be, what I don’t need to be, but I have a hard time being anything other than myself.
I’ve been in Nashville for 12 years trying to do this thing, and it’s a cool feeling and a sense of freedom comes along with knowing I have not been anything other than myself. And I’ve done things the way I wanna do ’em and here we are.
I didn’t even think I was breaking rules, I was just doin’ it!”
And when asked what advice she would give herself 12 years ago know what she knows now, when she was fresh on the scene and living in a camper just trying to make something of herself, she gave a beautiful response, saying in part:
“I would tell her it’s gonna be brick by brick in order to build that house. It’s not gonna happen over night… I believe that time was truly a part of my story.
And I’ve lived more life… be thankful for that time.”
Lastly, she was asked about what it’s like to be a female in country music and some of the barriers she’s had to break down in order to get radio play and things of that nature.
I also agree with what she says about there being a shift and so many great female artists blowing up alongside her (Carly Pearce comes to mind as an example), and she added that though the stereotype is often that it’s all men singin’ about heartbreak and drinkin’ beer, “we can make you laugh, cry, and wanna drink a beer, too.”
In my opinion, Lainey has such a great attitude about her important perspective as a woman and the unique challenges we face. She talks about it often in her music, too, which of course relatable to so many different kinds of people because it’s inspired by her real life and feelings.
I’m so thrilled to have her at the forefront of mainstream country in such a big way now:
“I will tell you, I feel a shift right now. And I feel very, very proud to be a part of that shift. I feel like us women, we got a lot to say.
It’s important to hear our side of the story too. We can make you laugh, we can make you cry, and we can make you wanna drink a beer, too.
I always tell the boys, I’m like, ‘We’re comin’ for y’all. You better back it up!'”
Spoken like the true country queen that she is…
You can check out the full interview here:
Lainey also gave a great speech later that night, hilariously, and quite poignantly, saying in part:
“I’ll you what, this shit is not for the faint of heart.
And all the women who are coming on this stage and in this room here tonight, being honored, can testify.”
Lainey is also donating $1 from every ticket on her already sold-out Country With A Flare tour to the We Are Moving The Needle organization.
She is a true gem in every sense of the word: