Georgia girl Lauren Alaina grew up singing in church, local restaurants and talent shows – anything that she could potentially win, she entered. So it’s no surprise that one of America’s top talent competition shows ultimately launched her career in 2011 – but she didn’t fully find her stride until this year.
“This year has been crazy, it’s been nuts!” gushes Alaina to Rolling Stone, “I obviously had a lot of success on [the talent show] but I never had real artistry success until this year when we got the number one with ‘Road Less Traveled,'” she says of the title track to her debut LP, which topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
She remembers writing the song with one of her best friends – and the moment they first heard a studio-produced version. While the album didn’t come out for another four years, she instantly knew that song would be a hit.
Alaina’s whirlwind year didn’t stop there – she landed another number one hit (“What Ifs” with Kane Brown), received her first ACM and CMA nominations and won her first CMT award. But Alaina’s success didn’t happen overnight or without sacrifice.
“I kept feeling like it wasn’t working,” she says. “There were moments that I thought, “Am I wrong about this? Do I need to step back and think about this and figure out something else?”
“The reason I kept my record deal after losing five singles is because my fans were so devoted and voted me into this career,” she continues. “They held on, and my family held on and I just waited until we finally got a hit.”
And with “Road Less Traveled,” she got that hit.
“Road Less Traveled” struck a chord not only with fans but also with a movie production company: she appeared in a movie by the same name as her hit song and album, which aired on CMT back in November. She had so much fun making the movie that she’s thinking about pursuing acting – and she’s ready for even more hard work.
“My dad’s mentality is you work for what you get and you work as hard as you can and then if you get a return, you deserve it because you worked for it,” Alaina explains.
She loves working with Budweiser since they stand for what she believes in.
“[Budweiser is] the all-American company because that’s what the American Dream is – you can work hard and have this crazy dream and we can achieve it because we live in a country where that’s possible,” she explains. “I feel proud to be an American and a small-town Georgia girl who worked really hard and believed that she could make her dreams come true – and I’ve been able to.”
While Alaina is dedicated to expanding her brand as much as possible, music will always be her number one focus.
“I want to be an artist that shares a message that makes people feel good about who they are,” she says.
Look out for more from
Lauren Alaina in the coming months.