Lainey Wilson thrills crowd at ‘Bell Bottom Barn Dance’ during CMA Fest

Lainey Wilson thrills crowd at ‘Bell Bottom Barn Dance’ during CMA Fest


Lainey hosts show with 5 TSC ‘Emerging Artists’


By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine


On June 9, amidst the swirl of the 50th Annual CMA Fest, Lainey Wilson headlined a spectacular array of emerging talent as she co-hosted the Bell Bottom Barn Dance, a showcase for The Tractor Supply Emerging Artists Program, developed by the Tractor Supply Company (TSC).


I joined the excited throng that packed into the Bell Tower Event Space that certainly provided a barn-like atmosphere with its high wood-beamed ceiling and the strategically-placed hay bales around the stage.


Even before the show, the line of fans wound around the room leading to the merchandise tables, stacked with t-shirts, bell-bottom pants and red bandanas bearing Lainey’s name. Lainey’s fan club members received a special merch card to get a bandana and t-shirt.


The Bell Bottom Barn Dance was the culmination of a talent search and development platform, The Tractor Supply Emerging Artists Program, created to discover and support emerging country artists who live and love what TSC calls “Life Out Here.”   The program partnered with country stars Lainey Wilson, Ashley McBryde, Dustin Lynch, Lauren Alaina, and Kat & Alex, along with Opry Entertainment Group.


To participate in the program, around 900 hopeful entrants from across the USA submitted original songs inspired by TSC’s “Out Here” lifestyle theme. From among those entrants, the five Emerging Artists – selected by Tractor Supply and the mentor artists – were paired with one of the five established country artists who would be their personal mentors during the development program.


The five winning entrants were: Hailey Verhaalen from Oregon City, OR, Drew Hale from El Paso, TX, Tae Lewis from Goldsboro, NC, Cosette Smith from Gilbert, AZ, and Austin McNeill from Salisbury, NC.


As each of the five Emerging Artists took the stage, I was really impressed by every single one of them! Kudos to all of them and they definitely got the crowd hyped up to welcome Lainey Wilson to the stage.


And welcome her, they certainly did!  I thought Bailey Zimmerman’s fans were crazy loyal, but Lainey’s fans can’t be far behind, with their screams and cheers rattling the rafters at the Bell Tower, waving red bandanas and singing along with the lyrics.


Lainey and her band were so tight! Her song lyrics are a heartbeat lifeline to her artistry. Her performance was flawless as were her ‘pure as honey-soaked’ vocals. She made sure the fans knew she was so happy to see everyone there.


I have known Lainey since she was a teenager and she has the gift to listen to and inspire those who follow in her footsteps. She did just that with her sincere “From The Heart” welcoming speech.


Lainey said that she first watched the Grand Ole Opry as a nine-year-old little girl. The show changed her life and she wanted to be there on the stage, singing her heart out. As a way of passing the baton, each of the program’s Emerging Artists will have the opportunity to perform alongside Lainey on the Grand Ole Opry Stage and appear in an upcoming Circle Network 30-minute special set to premiere later this year.


Landing her first No. 1 with her Platinum Certified “Things A Man Oughta Know,” nearly ten years to the day after leaving her small Louisiana farming community in a camper trailer to chase her dreams, Lainey Wilson has won over legions of fans with her signature Bell Bottom Country sound and aesthetic, which blends traditional Country with a modern yet retro flare.


More cool Lainey Wilson news: Lainey will record a duet with her hero Dolly Parton for a yet-to-be-announced project that will be a tribute to The Judds. Apparently, the songs are being chosen and Dolly and Lainey will be singing “Mama He’s Crazy” Note: I remember being at The Nashville Songwriters Awards in 1985 to see songwriter Kenny O’ Dell receive his NSAI Song of the Year Award for “Mama’s He’s Crazy” and the Judds celebrating the song as their first of fourteen Number One hits in August 1984.


More about Lainey Wilson at her website:, on her Facebook page:, on Instagram (@laineywilsonmusic), on Twitter (@laineywilson) and on linktree: #LaineyWilson #TSCEmergingArtists


PHOTO CREDIT: Lainey Wilson performs at the Bell Bottom Barn Dance. Photo by Roxy Moure


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