2017 was the year when American country singer-songwriter Lauren Alaina finally received the recognition she deserves. The fifteen-year-old from Rossville, Georgia first made her mark on the country music scene back in 2011 when she auditioned for American Idol. As soon as she began to sing Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s “Like We Never Lived at All” we all knew she was musically gifted and destined for stardom. Her natural talent saw her finish second in the competition to fellow country singer Scotty McCreery. Lauren then embarked on an almost three-month tour with the top eleven Idols, travelling America and beyond. She went on to release her debut album Wildflower in 2011 which reached number two on the US Country chart. Lauren also released four singles over the coming years, but they failed to make any real impact on the charts. However, 2017 was the year when everything changed.
Second studio album – Road Less Travelled
At the beginning of 2017 (over five years since her debut), Lauren released her second studio album Road Less Travelled. This offering was a much more personal album, with Lauren co-writing all twelve songs. Songs such as “Doin’ Fine” and “Pretty” are full of emotion and touch on personal issues Lauren has faced in her life. These include her battle with bulimia and her parents’ divorce. “Three” is a particularly poignant number. It details the struggles Lauren has faced whilst being out on the road and away from home for lengthy periods.
In contrast, there are also plenty of fun, up-tempo songs on the album. These include “Next Boyfriend” and “Queen of Hearts” which are perfect for unlocking that dancing queen within. And of course, the lead single “Road Less Travelled” is a shining example of the inspiring message this album portrays. Lauren’s incredible vocals throughout made us all fall in love with this album and it reached number three on the US country chart as a result.
You can watch the video for “Road Less Traveled” below:
Road Less Traveled – the single’s road to number one
The single “Road Less Travelled” was first released in July 2016 and steadily climbed the charts over the next few months. After the release of Lauren’s album, the single gained momentum and in April 2017, it reached the number one spot on the Country Airplay chart. This was Lauren’s first number one and she was understandably ecstatic upon hearing the news. You can watch the video Lauren shared with fans on Instagram after finding out she had hit that top spot.
Even more special was the fact that Lauren was the first female solo artist to hit number one on the chart since Kelsea Ballerini in September 2016. This seems hard to believe, but it has been hard for females to make their voice heard in country music in recent years. Positively, however, it seems like that may finally be changing.
Duet with Kane Brown – What Ifs
Back in February of this year, “What Ifs” – a collaboration between Lauren and her former school friend Kane Brown was released. Much like “Road Less Travelled” the song gained momentum each week. In October 2017 it managed to hit number one on the Hot Country Songs chart. This feat knocked Sam Hunt off the top spot after his record-breaking thirty-four-week reign at number one with “Body Like a Back Road”. As well as this, the following week, it also topped the Country Airplay and Country Streaming Songs charts. In the same month, it also gained platinum status. It has become one of the most popular country songs of 2017.
You can watch the video for “What Ifs” below:
Road Less Traveled – the film
It may seem like Lauren took an extended break from music, however, she has been tirelessly working behind the scenes to take her career to the next level. As well as working on her second album, Lauren also turned her hand to acting at the end of 2016. In September last year, Lauren began to film her first movie “Road Less Traveled”. The film follows Charlotte’s (played by Lauren) journey as she falls for her high school sweetheart just a week before she is due to get married to someone else. “Road Less Traveled” was released in June 2017 and premiered on CMT last month.
If you have yet to see the film, you can watch the trailer below:
Awards won by Lauren Alaina in 2017
2017 has been a fantastic year for Lauren in terms of awards nominations and wins. She won the CMT Music award for “Breakthrough Video of the year” for “Road Less Traveled”. Lauren also won “Breakthrough Artist of the year” at the Music Row Awards as well as a BMI award.This adds to Lauren’s previous win for “New Artist of the Year” at the American Country Awards back in 2012.
As well as this, she was also nominated for several awards this year. These include an ACM award for ”Best New Female Artist”, Radio Disney Music Award for “Country Best New Artist”, Country Music Association award for “New Artist of the Year” and two further CMT Music Awards for “Female Video of the Year” and “Social Superstar”.
You can watch Lauren’s reaction to winning at the CMT Music Awards below:
Tours in which Lauren Alaina appeared in 2017
As if Lauren was not busy enough this year promoting her new album and hit singles, she also found time to go out on tour. Lauren opened for country superstar Martina McBride on her Love Unleashed tour alongside High Valley and Hailey Whitters. In addition to this, she opened for country star Luke Bryan on his Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day tour. The tour ran from May to October 2017. As well as this, she opened for Canadian country and rock singer Dallas Smith on his Side Effects tour.
Latest Single – Doin’ Fine
Lauren’s most recent single is “Doin’ Fine” which talks about her parents’ divorce and her father’s alcoholism. It is the third to be released from Road Less Traveled after “Next Boyfriend” and her hit single “Road Less Traveled”. So far the song has peaked at number 46 on the US Country Airplay (Billboard) Chart but definitely deserves a higher position. The video to accompany the song is elegant and classy and shows just how much Lauren has grown as an artist in every aspect of her career.
You can watch the video for “Doin’ Fine” below:
It took a few years before Lauren Alaina was able to really gain the success she deserved from day one, but we only see bright things for her future. Here’s to an even better 2018 for our favourite Georgia girl Lauren Alaina. We know she is going to smash it!
Don’t forget to let us know your favourite moments from Lauren Alaina’s year by tweeting us @CelebMix. We cannot wait to hear from you.