Lainey Wilson’s success at the 2023 ACM Awards is a result of her lifelong dedication to music.
In an interview with PEOPLE at the red carpet of the Academy of Country Music Awards, Wilson shared her journey in pursuing a music career since she was a child. She wrote her first song at the age of 9 and has been working towards her dream ever since.
Wilson expressed her belief that music is her calling and her unwavering commitment to pursuing it. She emphasized that she had no backup plan and has always been focused on making music. She feels that the time she spent preparing has been crucial in shaping her readiness for success.
Before winning four awards at the ceremony, including album of the year and female artist of the year, Wilson spoke about the significance of being nominated. She expressed her deep love for country music and how she always dreamed of being a part of the industry. Wilson feels that country music has finally reciprocated her love and being recognized feels rewarding and fulfilling.
Reflecting on her early days in Nashville, Wilson shared the advice she would give to her younger self, encouraging her to hold on for a thrilling ride and assuring her that things will turn out even better than she imagined.
During the ACM Awards, Wilson made her first public appearance with Devlin “Duck” Hodges, a former Pittsburgh Steelers player, confirming their relationship. Wilson stunned in a flowing all-green outfit, while Hodges opted for a casual blue suit.
Over the past few months, Hodges has been vocal on social media about his admiration for Wilson’s music. The couple’s connection became evident when Wilson and her band wore Steelers jerseys with Hodges’ name during a performance, leading Hodges to express his excitement on Twitter.
The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards was held at Ford Center in Frisco, Texas, and showcased Wilson’s well-deserved recognition and celebration of her musical achievements.