Lainey Wilson credits success to God, rejection and being 'hardheaded'

Lainey Wilson’s 13-year run in the country music business has had its fair share of challenges.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Wilson, who will appear in the Hulu special, “Lainey Wilson: Bell Bottom Country,” discussed how she handled rejection and heartache early in her career.

“I think a lot of the rejection really just kind of made me want it that much more. I am hardheaded. I really am, and if you could sit down and talk to my parents, you would realize why I am the way that I am,” Wilson said. “Both of them, when they have their mind made up, that’s it. And I’ve had my mind made up from the very beginning that I was going to do this.”

Lainey Wilson told Fox News Digital she is “hardheaded” and didn’t let rejection stop her early on in her career. (Getty Images)

Nearly 13 years ago, the “Yellowstone” star packed up her belongings and moved from the 200-person town in Baskin, Louisiana, and headed to Nashville to pursue her dream of being a country music star. In February, Wilson took home her first Grammy.


“I didn’t know what it was going to look like, but I truly do think that that rejection and the time that it has taken me to get to this point, because, I mean, this year it’ll be 13 years that I’ve been in Nashville doing it,” Wilson told Fox News Digital.

Lainey Wilson moved to Nashville nearly 13 years ago to pursue music. She’s pictured here in 2019. (Leah Puttkammer/Getty Images)

“I think it’s really just a part of my story. And I think the Lord kind of wanted me to live a little bit more life so I could have more stories to tell, so I could relate to more people,” she added. “That’s what it’s about when you kind of zoom out and you think about all of this. It’s important to remember and realize, why are we doing this? And what are we doing this for?

“It’s just because we all want to feel something. And, I think, because of that rejection, I think people can relate to some of my stories.”

In the trailer for her Hulu special, Wilson says, at times, she felt like a “fish out of water” and that she was “too country for country.” The award-winning musician told Fox News Digital she assumed as a child that everywhere she went, people would have a similar accent to her own.

Lainey Wilson’s Hulu special, “Lainey Wilson: Bell Bottom Country,” debuts May 29. (Taylor Hill/WireImage)

“As a little girl, you think, ‘Oh, I want to move to Country Music City.’ And you think you’re gonna show up, and everybody there’s going to talk the way that you talk. And that’s just not the truth,” Wilson said. “Nashville is a big old melting pot, and that’s kind of when I realized, too, that, man, you don’t have to be from where I’m from to eat, sleep and breathe country music.

“I became friends with people from Canada and Oregon and the East Coast and the West Coast. Everybody loved country music just as much as I love country music. They just didn’t talk like me.”


Lainey explained that, in 2011, when she arrived in Nashville, she felt that she was “too country for country.”

Country star and actress Lainey Wilson believed she was “too country for country” at the start of her career. (Getty Images)

“But the truth is, just like fashion, things go in, and things go out. I think at that time what I did was not ‘the thing,’ but I’m glad that I waited,” Wilson said.

Just last week, Wilson was honored at the Academy of Country Music Awards for entertainer of the year. The singer brought her mother, Michelle Wilson, as her plus-one to the award show in Frisco, Texas, May 16.

Michelle Wilson and Lainey Wilson at the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards. (Gilbert Flores/Penske Media via Getty Images)

During her interview with Fox News Digital, Wilson said her hardworking nature is the result of being a fifth-generation farmer’s daughter and how her parents raised her to never give up on her dreams.

“Yes, my parents are, they’re the ones to blame. They’re the ones to blame for all of this,” Wilson joked. “They have truly supported me from the beginning.”

WATCH: Lainey Wilson walks the red carpet at the 2024 ACM Awards

Lainey Wilson walks the red carpet at the 2024 ACM Awards Video

While her parents helped shape Lainey into the successful woman she is, she believes it goes back a few generations.

“I truly do think it is from being from a long line of farmers. I mean, on my mom’s side and my daddy’s side. They rolled their sleeves up. They got to work every single day and had good years and bad years, but at the end of the day, they loved it,” Wilson told Fox News Digital.


“So, that meant that they got up, and they did it again. And they’d fall down, and they’d do it again. They just had no other option. And my daddy has always tried to remind me that he worked really hard, but he’s not just working hard for himself. He’s working hard for me and my sister and my mama and my sister’s kids and, one day, my kids.”

Wilson said it’s “really important to keep that in mind” when work gets tough, because that is “just life.”

Lainey Wilson won the ACM award for entertainer of the year May 16. (Getty Images)

“It kind of takes a little bit of pressure off of you when you take yourself out of it. I guess it makes working hard a lot easier,” she explained.

“Lainey Wilson: Bell Bottom Country” debuts on Hulu May 29.

Janelle Ash is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital.

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