Lainey Wilson is a country music singer who has risen up the ranks in the past couple of years to become one of the most successful new acts in the genre. This success didn't come overnight, however. Wilson moved to Music City more than ten years ago, in 2011, to pursue her dream in country music. She arrived to town pulling a camper trailer, which is where she lived during her early days in Nashville. After years of writing, releasing music independently and playing shows, she signed a major-label recording contract with BBR Music Group in 2018.
Her first major-label release was her 2019 EP, Redneck Hollywood, which contained soon-to-be hit, "Things a Man Oughta Know." She released that song as her official debut single in 2020, and it turned Wilson into a star. The song was received incredibly favorably by fans and country radio alike, and it became her first No. 1 song on the Country Airplay chart in November 2021. Since then, things have only been moving up for the Louisiana-born singer. She has since released her full-length, debut album, Sayin' What I'm Thinkin,' she won New Female Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2021 ACM Awards, she has earned coveted opening tour slots and she collaborated with Cole Swindell on a song called "Never Say Never." All these accolades have set Wilson up for what is sure to be a long and successful career, but before she continues down that path, here's a look at 5 of her best songs so far.
5. "Dirty Looks"
Released as a cut on her Redneck Hollywood EP and on her Sayin' What I'm Thinkin' album, "Dirty Looks" tells a steamy love story. In the tune, Wilson meets up at a bar with a male suitor who has been working outdoors all day. The two begin showing some PDA in the bar, and they don't care about the "dirty looks" they are receiving from the bar's other patrons. The song features a play on words, as the couple is getting dirty looks from other people, and, as Wilson sings, "dirty" looks good on her partner.
4. "Rolling Stone"
Although it didn't make it to radio, "Rolling Stone" is another album cut from Wilson's Sayin' What I'm Thinkin' project. In this poignant song, Wilson sings from the perspective of a free-spirited woman who isn't ready to settle down. Although she has a man who is ready to put a ring on her hand, she knows in her heart that she'll always be on the run, and she can't promise that she'll settle down. As she sings in the hook, "You don't give a rock to a rolling stone." The song takes on a otherworldly vibe with banjo and acoustic instrumentation, which only adds to the wanderlust Wilson sings about in the tune.
3. "Never Say Never"
After the success of her No. 1 hit, "Things a Man Oughta Know," Wilson joined up with established star Cole Swindell for a fiery duet called "Never Say Never." In this song, co-written by Swindell, Jessi Alexander and Chase McGill, Swindell and Wilson play the parts of two star-crossed lovers who can't seem to stay away from one another. The song features soaring country instrumentation as they sing back and forth about how they'll "never say never" to being with one another. The song reached the No. 1 spot in April 2022, becoming Swindell's 11th No. 1 and Wilson's second.
2. "Heart Like A Truck"
After two consecutive No. 1 songs on the charts, Wilson immediately hit fans with a new tune, called "Heart Like A Truck," released in May 2022. This song clearly shows off the singer's vulnerable songwriting and country roots, as she sings about her rambling heart that still needs a little love. The song itself is optimistic, as Wilson admits that her heart has been "drug through the mud," but she's still open to finding love again. The tune also shows off Wilson's impressive range in a much bigger way than her past songs.
1. "Things A Man Oughta Know"
This is the song that started the fire of Lainey Wilson's career. Co-written by Wilson, Jason Nix and Jonathan Singleton, the song finds Wilson singing from the perspective of a woman who has been jaded by a man in the past. Whether she's still brokenhearted or not is unclear, but she has full clarity on how a man should treat a woman. Suffice it to say, whoever wronged her did not live up to those standards. Wilson lays out these standards in the song as "things a man oughta know," and they range from simple tasks like how to change a tire, to deeper, relational things like "how to stay when it's tough." The song puts a new spin on a heartbreak story, and it certainly won over country audiences, becoming her first No. 1 hit.
READ MORE: 6 of the Best Lauren Alaina Songs
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