It’s almost time for a ‘CMA Country Christmas,’ and one of the stars making this year’s holiday event one of the best is Lainey Wilson. Grab some Christmas cookies and get to know more about Lainey.
The 12th annual CMA Country Christmas airs tonight (Nov. 29) on ABC. One of the artists helping hosts Gabby Barrett and Carly Pearce usher in the holiday spirit is Lainey Wilson. The “Things A Man Oughta Know” singer is one of the many performers appearing on the special, joining Brett Eldredge, Jimmie Allen (with Louis York and the Shindellas), Pistol Annies, and Carrie Underwood to add a little country to your stocking.
Lainey, 29, will perform “Christmas Cookies,” a song George Strait released on the compilations A Country Superstar Christmas III and A Country Christmas in 1999 (per Taste of Country.) Lainey’s version is a faithful rendition, though she adds a sprinkle or two of her own spice — just to give it an extra kick. It’s a perfect addition to your Christmas Country playlist, one to play while making your batch of tasty treats. Ahead of the holiday special, here’s what you should know about Lainey.
1. Lainey Wilson Is A Country Music Star
Hailing from Baskin, Louisiana, Lainey Wilson is a rising country music star. She released her self-titled debut album in 2014 and followed it with Tougher in 2016. In 2021, after signing to BBR Music Group, she put out Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’. Lainey’s major-label debut contained the track, “Things a Man Oughta Know.” The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s US Country Airplay chart and No. 3 on the US Country Songs chart (it peaked at 32 on the Billboard Hot 100.) Since its release, the song has gone gold and has introduced the world to this dynamic new talent.
2. She’s All About Knowing Your Worth & Power
“I want listeners to know how empowering self-discovery can be,” Lainey told Fault magazine about her major-label debut. “I want this project to let them know who I am, what I believe, and lay a good firm foundation for all the things I have to say. I hope people can listen to my stories and lyrics and feel connected, understood, and encouraged to be unapologetically themselves. I want this album to take listeners on a journey and feel like they are not on the journey alone.”
3. Her First Taste Of Success Came Via’ Hannah Montana’
Miley Cyrus inadvertently had a hand in Lainey’s path to country music success. “In high school, I actually impersonated Hannah Montana…that was my high school occupation,” Laney told Songwriter Universe. “I started doing that in eighth grade, and I traveled all over Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Tennessee. Every now and then, they would let me open up the show for Hannah…and that even made it more evident to me that performing was what I’m supposed to be doing, along with songwriting. Then I started playing with a band for a few years, and I finally decided…if I’m going to take this thing to the next level, that I need to be in Nashville.”
4. Her Music Has Changed People’s Lives.
On “Things A Man Oughta Know,” Lainey lists off “How to know when it’s love / How to stay when it’s tough / How to know you’re messin’ up a good thing / And how to fix it ‘fore it’s too late” on the chorus, per Genius. If you really love a woman, you don’t let her go / Yeah, I know a few things a man oughta know.”
“This lady was telling me the other day too,” she told Taste of Country Nights in October 2021, “about her and her husband were having problems and about to get a divorce. She sent the song over to her husband, and she said now they’re better than ever. He really took the song to heart.”
5. She Loves Dolly Parton.
“I’m a huge Dolly fan. I mean, Dolly can do no wrong. As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t like Dolly, something’s wrong with you,” she told Songwriter Universe. Lainey’s Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ contains the song, “WWDD,” which stands for “What Would Dolly Do,” so when she says she loved Dolly, she means it. “I really like everything about the lady—her personality, her songwriting, her singing. And she’s an incredible businesswoman. But more importantly, she has a heart of gold. I think if everybody was a little more like Dolly Parton, the world would be a better place.”