Sticking to her roots. Lainey Wilson showed off her acting chops as musician Abby on Yellowstone season 5, but her acting debut isn’t enough for the country star to give up her one true passion.
“I will never not make songwriting my priority because the songwriting is what has given me all the rest of these opportunities,” she exclusively told Us Weekly at the 2023 CMT Music Awards on Sunday, April 2, when asked whether she’d give up music to pursue acting full-time.
The “Things a Man Oughta Know” singer, 30, first appeared on the hit show’s season 5 premiere episode, titled “One Hundred Years Is Nothing,” and went on to develop a romance with Ian Bohen’s character, Ryan.
Her role on Yellowstone came about after she became friends with the show’s creator, Taylor Sheridan, in 2018. “He had put a few of my songs in the show and then invited me out to Vegas to play a horse-riding competition, and that’s where I got to meet him,” Wilson explained to Us. “[We] became buddies and, you know, I knew the friendship would lead to something. I didn’t know it necessarily meant me being in the show.”
She continued: “He called me last February and he said, ‘I want to create a character specifically for you, and I want you to wear your bell bottoms. I want you to sing your own songs and be yourself but go by a musician named Abby.’”
When it comes to dealing with her TV and music fame, Wilson said her support system isn’t afraid to be real with her. “I’ve got a lot of people in my life who keep me grounded, whether it’s my folks back at home or my team and crew in Nashville,” the artist told Us. “They check me every now and then. They like, ‘Girl, you know who you are.’”
The “Wildflowers and Wild Horses” singer won big at the CMT Music Awards on Sunday, taking home the titles of Female Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year. She also took to the stage to perform her song “Heart Like A Truck” and joined Alanis Morissette, Ingrid Andress, Madeline Edwards and Morgan Wade for a performance of “You Oughta Know.”
“My heart is about to beat right out my chest, I’ll be honest with y’all,” she said during her Female Video of the Year acceptance speech. “This song right here is about finding freedom and strength. It’s about not being afraid of the scratches and the dents and the bumps along the way. And we all got a story to tell, y’all, and I’m so proud of this music video. It was filmed, produced, written and directed by all women.”
Wilson added: “I just want to say, first of all, thank you Jesus for this opportunity, and I want to say, thank you CMT for literally believing in me before a lot of folks did. But I also want to say thank you so much to the fans. I feel like I’m watching my dreams come true right before my eyes, truly y’all. This is for y’all. I love y’all so much. Thank you.”
With reporting by Kayla Aldecoa