Lainey Wilson Says Emotional Moment 'Lights Another Fire Under My Butt'

By Kelly Fisher

June 13, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Lainey Wilson embraced the “magic” of CMA Fest after attending the star-studded festival every year for nearly two decades. This time, the “Wildflowers and Wild Horses” star also fulfilled a lifelong dream when she was inducted into the historic Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

Wilson, 31, shared a few snapshots and videos taken over the weekend on Instagram. She said she’s “been comin to [CMA Fest] or 18 years and the feeling of being surrounded by the world’s biggest country music fans never loses its magic.” She reminisced on performing on the CMA Fest main stage at Nissan Stadium with Keith Urban, Jelly Roll and Terri Clark, in addition to meeting fans and her Opry induction. Wilson said “ there wasn’t a single moment I didn’t feel the Lord’s blessings. …I’m already looking forward to next year.”

Reba McEntire surprised Wilson during The Voice season finale, after the Baskin, Louisiana-born artist performed “Hang Tight Honey,” an anthem that appears on her forthcoming album, Whirlwind. On June 7, Wilson was inducted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood in front of a sold-out crowd. She performed with Clark, and performed Tom Petty’s “Refugee” with Wynonna Judd, along with a few of her own songs: “Dreamcatcher,” “Things A Man Oughta Know,” “Heart Like A Truck,” “Watermelon Moonshine,” and “Hang Tight Honey.” 

“Honestly, it feels like the biggest night of my life. We have had a crazy couple of years and all the awards and everything but this right here feels like the highest honor for me. It feels like the stamp of approval from everybody that stood right here. That just lights another fire under my butt,” Wilson said on the Opry stage, per a press release issued earlier this week. “I want my family to be up here because this is theirs too. They have worked so hard for me to have opportunities.

“As a little girl, I didn’t dream about my wedding day. I didn’t dream about what song I’d play at my wedding, I dreamed about this right here,” Wilson said. “I dreamed about what song I would play in the circle if I got the opportunity.” 

Wilson was one of many artists to take the CMA Fest main stage over the weekend, along with Kelsea BalleriniBrothers OsborneLuke BryanJordan DavisHARDYJelly RollCody JohnsonLynyrd SkynyrdAshley McBrydeParker McCollumMegan MoroneyJon PardiCarly PearceThe War And TreatyThomas RhettKeith Urbanand Bailey Zimmerman.

CMA Fest will air in a televised concert special hosted by Jelly Roll and Ashley McBryde later this month. The special will include “never-before-seen performances and surprise collaborations from Country Music’s most exciting acts,” according to the Country Music Association. CMA Fest will air on Tuesday, June 25 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on ABC. It will be available to stream the following day on Hulu.

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Lainey Wilson
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