Lauren Alaina once told an interviewer she wanted to perform at the Grand Ole Opry by the time she was 16. “You’ve got high hopes,” she was told. As it turns out, she hadn’t begun to envision all that was in store for her before entering her junior year in high school.
As the runner-up on Season 10 of the TV show American Idol, where her strong vocal performances prompted The New York Times to call her “the best singer so far this season,” she launched into the country music world and onto the most famous stage in country music.
She made her much-anticipated Opry debut on June 10, 2011 to sing her debut hit, “Like My Mother Does,” at age 16.
“I dreamed since I was a kid of being on that stage because my daddy grew up playing the banjo and he’s really good at it,” she says. “He always wanted me to perform at the Grand Ole Opry because he never got the chance. When I was little, he told me he wanted to perform there and it would be as good as him getting to, and he was there. I needed someone to pinch me because it was just the way it was supposed to be.”
Within a short time, she signed a record deal with Mercury Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope, presented at the CMT Music Awards and joined Martina McBride in a duet of “Anyway” at LP Field in Nashville, TN during CMA Music Fest. She has traveled across the country with the American Idols Live tour and released her debut album, Wildflower, on October 11.
“Country music has a way of telling a story that you automatically connect with when you hear it. Country music talks about real-life things that have really happened, and I love that.” –Lauren Alaina