Former Steelers QB Duck Hodges Defends His Girlfriend Lainey Wilson Amid Criticism Over Entertainer Of The Year Win

John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA

Stand by your…woman.

Lainey Wilson took home a trophy case full of hardware last night at the CMA Awards, including a win for the night’s top prize, Entertainer of the Year.

The queen of “bell-bottom country” was the night’s big winner, taking home five awards in total, winning Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for her latest project Bell Bottom Country, and Music Video of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for her collaboration with HARDY on “wait in the truck.”

But after her win for Entertainer of the Year, a category which also featured Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood and Chris Stapleton as nominees, some people online felt that Lainey hadn’t done enough yet to deserve the top prize.

Morgan Wallen fans were especially upset that he walked away empty handed after a sold-out stadium tour and the top country album of the year with One Thing At a Time.

And people were also pointing out that the winner was actually an opener for one of the other nominees this year, after Lainey opened for Luke Combs on his massive 2023 world tour.

But it’s clear that there’s at least one person who’s pumped about Lainey’s big win: Her boyfriend, Devlin “Duck” Hodges.

A former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Duck Hodges was seated beside Lainey at the awards last night, and took to social media afterwards to push back on criticism that she didn’t deserve to be named Entertainer of the Year:

“Can’t express how hard this girl works and how much she deserves this. Yeah she open for some people but I promise you.. anyone who sees her leaves there like DAMN what a show! She is a performer, a entertainer and I’m glad to call her my bestfriend.”

Regardless of who you feel should have won, it’s hard to deny that Lainey is one of the biggest names in country music right now. And not only that, but she’s also starred on the hit series Yellowstone and has been pretty much everywhere you look in 2023.

In a category that’s not just about chart numbers or attendance, but about how an artist represents the genre, there’s really not anybody bigger than Lainey Wilson right now.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock