This top 10 Lainey Wilson Songs list showcases the greatest Lainey Wilson Songs like “Small Town Girl” “Workin Overtime,” and so many more. American country singer and songwriter, Lainey Wilson was born and raised in a small Louisiana community who had a farmer for a father and a teacher for a mother. The family were fans of classic country music and often listened to songs performed by some of the greatest legends in the genre. For Wilson, this served as her key source of inspiration, not just as a musician but as a lifestyle. In 2006 when she was around fourteen years old, she released her first extended play (EP), Country Girls Rule, on her own social media channel.
After High School
After Lainey Wilson graduated from high school, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2011. At first, it was difficult to make ends meet but it was an experience Wilson learned to appreciate as it taught her how to overcome adversity with hard work and patience. In order to make ends meet, she performed at a variety of small shows as well as practiced on her songwriting skills. In 2014, she recorded and released her first studio album, which was followed two years later by the Tougher album. Both of these were released as independent labels and it was earning her an audience and recognition on the US Billboard Top Country Albums chart. In 2018, Wilson recorded a second EP, which was her second overall eponymous release. Before 2018 was over, Wilson’s hard work finally paid off enough as she earned her first major recording contract with the BBR Music Group. Through them, Wilson’s third EP, Redneck Hollywood, was released in 2019 as her major-label debut.
The appeal behind Lainey Wilson’s music found many of her recorded songs featured on the hit television series, Yellowstone. Both the music critics and the fans sat up and took notice of the young talent as her music gained more media attention through radio stations, streaming sites, and music clubs catering to the genre of country music. 2019 was a very big year for Wilson as she and her music earned attention and critical acclaim from networks such as Country Music Television and Paramount. What Lainey Wilson brings to the table as a singer-songwriter is the blend of contemporary country with traditional that also features a hint of pop and southern rock into the mix. Her music style is as unapologetic as it gets, likely serving Yellowstone’s Beth Dutton proud. As the lady hero of the series, she seems to take much of Wilson’s material to heart in some of the classic lines she has delivered since it debuted in 2018.
Lainey Wilson: Today and Tomorrow
The future for Lainey Wilson as a country music star shines bright. Her raw talent, combined with her edgy approach to fusing the styles of country and rock together, has so far been done so in a manner that serves as a refreshing jolt into the music industry as a whole. So far, she has three studio albums, three EPs, three music videos, and seven singles to her credit. Wilson’s candid style as a recording artist is rare and has the caliber to become one of the best in the entertainment business.
Top 10 Lainey Wilson Songs
#10 – L.A.
From the EP, Redneck Hollywood, “L.A.” was Lainey Wilson’s creative way to musically reveal the road she took from her Louisiana roots to Nashville’s doorstep as an aspiring country singer hoping to join the ranks of the Grand Ole Opry, just like her country idols did. At times her voice reminds us of Maira McKee when she sang with Lone Justice. Heavy-hitting and toe-tapping, “L.A.” is that perfect Southern-style country party song that’s truly dance-worthy.
#9 – Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’
2021 was a big year for Lainey Wilson as the hard work she poured into her music career finally saw it pay off with a major label debut. “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin'” was just as much a contemporary country favorite as the album it came from. Although not a charted hit, “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin'” can be ranked as one of Wilson’s signature songs as it best describes who she is as a person and as a recording artist. Granted, it is not as sassy as the rest of her material but it is as honest as it gets with the emotional performance Wilson poured into this gentle tear-jerker that deserves to be heard. When we first saw this video we were stunned by how much she looks like Carrie Underwood in this one.
#8 – Rolling Stone
From the album, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin, “Rolling Stone” was an incredibly beautiful song of a split-up with a high school sweetheart due to the couple realizing their paths were taking them down in opposite directions. The raw talent of Lainey Wilson came through crystal clear with this song and was among the primary reasons why the big names from the country music industry finally sat up and took notice of a shining new star with so much promise that now seems to be stepping into the prime of her career as a world-class musical performer. If You listen closely you can hear a little Led Zeppelin in the guitar riff on this track. Led Zeppelin fans will hear it.
#7 – Workin’ Overtime
On May 29, 2018, “Workin’ Overtime” was featured on YouTube for the first time as a single release from her eponymous EP. Not only did this song and video see the young Lainey Wilson’s extensive hard work pay off where she’d finally earn a big label record deal, it also remains as a solid fan favorite as the beauty of youthful energy from classic country roots came through loud and clear. The guitar thump seemed to serve as the heartbeat behind the song, perfectly depicting the theme behind “Workin’ Overtime” as Wilson brought forth her lyrical genius as a songwriting talent in a manner that has become her trademark sound fans and music critics love her for.
#6 – Small Town Girl
Singing from experience, Lainey Wilson’s “Small Town Girl” was her take of a Southern girl that has the perfect blend of sweetness with a bit of sour, and do so in a manner that’s honest without becoming vile. From the album, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, this song served as a stern warning to not underestimate the tenacity of a young woman whose energy has been fueled with a sense of individuality that is often overlooked simply because of the environment they were brought up in. It also served as a piece of lyrical advice to the “Small Town Girl” who need to understand the community they live in is small enough to expose any of their misdeeds as it is pretty hard to keep secrets in a town small enough where everybody knows everybody.
#5 – Straight Up Sideways
With a touch of witty humor, “Straight Up Sideways” served as a genuine hang loose country song full of energy. Next time one hangs out at a country bar or genre-related party club, “Straight Up Sideways” definitely serves as a dance-worthy song to perhaps grab a partner and get caught up in the fun of a story that could also pass as an epic drinking song.
#4 – WWDD (What Would Dolly Do)
“WWDD (What Would Dolly Do)” was Lainey Wilson’s 2020 tribute to country music legend Dolly Parton. For Wilson, Dolly Parton was her idol, so when the opportunity came about to pay homage to her, as well as a few other country music legends such as George Jones and Waylon Jennings, she beautifully took it up and brought forth a playful and tasteful country song that’s worth the listen for its quality entertainment value. Dolly likely did it already, so why not do the same?
#3 – Dirty Looks
From the EP, Redneck Hollywood, as well as the album, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, “Dirty Looks” is recognized as a saucy number as Lainey Wilson musically explained her attraction to the working class man. Although it was not a single that appeared on the music charts, it is a contemporary country favorite among fans who care more about quality music than whatever happens to be trending on the Billboards.
#2 – Never Say Never (featuring Cole Swindell)
The 2021 collaboration of “Never Say Never’ witnessed Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson pair up in this beautiful duet about refusing to let anything negative stand in the way of true love. Inspiring and entertaining, this became a number eleven hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the RPM Canadian Country Tracks chart. It was also a number twelve hit on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart and a crossover success into the US Billboard Hot 100 by charting as high as number forty-five.
#1 – Things a Man Oughta Know
In 2020, “Things a Man Oughta Know” was released as a single from Wilson and is included in her third EP, Redneck Hollywood, and her third studio album, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’. It became a number three hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and a number one hit on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart. It also peaked as high as number four on the RPM Canadian Country Tracks chart and was a crossover hit at number thirty-two on the US Billboard Hot 100.
This was Lainey Wilson’s most important single release as it served as the breakthrough song she needed for the music industry to finally sit up and take notice. It won her Song of the Year award with the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2021, as well as New Female Artist of the Year. Lyrically expressed by a woman who felt men should learn how to understand women better, “Things a Man Oughta Know” also made an impression in Australia as it climbed as high as number sixteen on its Country Hot 50. So far, “Things a Man Oughta Know” has become certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and by Music Canada.
Top 10 Lainey Wilson Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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