“10 Years In Nashville, That Don’t Mean S***” – Lainey Wilson Recalls A Radio DJ Telling Her She Wasn’t Good

Lainey Wilson country music
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Lainey Wilson is next in line with the new crop of country music superstars.

In the past 5 years or so, we’ve seen artists like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, and more drift further into the background of the greater country music landscape, and stars like Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, and Zach Bryan emerge.

And now, a couple months into 2024, you can go ahead and put Lainey Wilson’s name right up there with them. The reigning CMA Entertainer, Female Vocalist, and Album of the Year winner, she more recently snagged a Grammy for her album Bell Bottom Country.

Lainey has officially hit superstar status in mainstream country music, but it didn’t come without hard work. And over a decade of it. Her long and hard journey to Nashville has been well-documented, but if anyone take ownership of the “Nashville is a 10-year town” claim, it’s Lainey Wilson. From living in a camper in her friend’s front yard and being an extra in an early Jelly Roll music video, to being a Hannah Montana impersonator, she’s done it all.

She recently sat down with Trisha Yearwood for a Country Radio Seminar conversation about everything under the sun, and the pair of Grammy-winners got to talking about their struggles of radio tour and trying to break out in the country music industry. According to BillboardLainey recalled a instance where a radio DJ flat out told her she wasn’t very good:

“Radio tour, it was hard. It was really, really hard, I’m not going to lie to y’all. It taught me a lot. I made a lot of friends along the way that I still text and we talk all the time.

But I do remember one specific stop: I go in and we waited in the foyer. He brings us into his office and he said, ‘Play me what you got.’ This was my first single, ‘Dirty Looks.’ He said, ‘You should have left your guitar in the car. I don’t want to hear you play. I want to hear what it sounds like through the speakers.’ Well, he had like 1997 computer speakers, so of course you couldn’t understand anything that the song was saying.

He listened to it twice, back-to-back. I was just sitting there and he let the second time finish. He leans across his desk and he said, ‘Lainey, you’re just not that good.’ And I leaned across his desk and I said, ‘So-and-so, out of the 10 years that I’ve been in Nashville, you telling me that don’t mean ****.’”

BOOM… gotta love it.

She continued:

“It did light another fire underneath me. After I left there, I was like, ‘Okay, at the end of the day you put yourself out there. Not everybody’s going to like you or love you.’ I think moments like that, they’re not fun. But if anything, they do build character. They give you fun stories to talk about with Trisha Yearwood.”

Fun stories indeed, and if nothing else, that DJ gets to read about it 10 years later knowing he was dead wrong. Lainey is a superstar and he’s probably out of a job, and if not… maybe he should be.

Takes notes, people…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock