Lauren Alaina fans have known that this little girl from Georgia was a big, big star for a long time. Competing in the 10th season of “American Idol,” Lauren was declared the runner-up behind her good friend Scotty McCreery. But in a lot of ways, she was still a winner. Much like Miranda Lambert, who didn’t come in first on “Nashville Star,” record and radio execs knew that Lauren was something special. She got a record deal, singles on the radio, performed at the White House, at CMA Music Fest with Martina McBride and went on tour with artists like Jason Aldean and Alan Jackson.
But the wheels still move slowly, and it took from 2011 to 2017 before Lauren got that highly desired No. 1 single. And right after “Road Less Traveled” rang the bell, her duet with Kane Brown, “What Ifs,” was not far behind it atop the chart.
By music business terms, Lauren beat the “10-year overnight success” story, but this young lady has been relentless in the pursuit of her artistry.
And during an industry showcase on Feb. 7, her passion and tenacity paid off. Not in gold records or No. 1 hits, but in pure enthusiasm.
During this year’s Country Radio Seminar, Lauren was chosen by radio to be one of the five acts to perform at the closing night event, the “New Faces” show.
Lauren had the opportunity to sing a short set of songs for radio and label executives, media and peers, and to say she slayed is an understatement.
The singer-songwriter began her set with her autobiographical “Three,” where she was also able to show off her new piano skills.
The energetic pixie couldn’t remain seated for long, though, and eventually stood to finish the poignant song, which we hope is a future radio single.
Taking both parts, Lauren also whipped out a dynamic version of her Kane Brown duet, “What Ifs,” sans Kane, as he has done for his own live performances as well. And props to both of these young country stars for executing the song as well alone as they do together.
Of course, Lauren couldn’t leave the stage without performing her current single, “Doin’ Fine,” as well as her first No. 1, “Road Less Traveled,” which closed her short set.
And, at the end of her abbreviated concert, an industry crowd that is typically thought to be jaded and indifferent was on its feet.
Like Lauren’s other fans, we have pegged 2018 to be her year, and it is certainly shaping up to prove us all right. The talented beauty is hitting the road with Cole Swindell and Chris Janson on the “Reason to Drink Tour” starting Feb. 15 and wrapping up in April. She also has a couple of shows with Jason Aldean this summer.
Now, Lauren’s “Road Less Traveled” album just came out in January of 2017, so we won’t likely see a new collection this year, although this talented beauty surprises us all the time. But we imagine she’ll be hitting up the writing room in 2018 to begin preparing a new project for us.
And we’ll be ready!