Lainey Wilson Creates Magical Memory With Young Fan In Honor Of His Birthday

The Voices of America Country Music Fest partnered with Make-A-Wish to give him a “next level” festival experience.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

August 16, 2023


12:46 pm

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Lainey Wilson; Photos by Anna Clary Courtesy of Instagram

Lainey Wilson made a “sweet new friend” during her recent set at the Voices of America Country Music Fest in West Chester, OH. The country star took to social media to share a few highlights from her performance including the moment she granted a young fan’s wish to join her on stage.

VOACMF later shared that they partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to bring the fan named Johnathan, a.k.a “J”, to the 2023 festival and provide him with a “next level” experience. 

“A huge thank you to Lainey Wilson and her team for being supportive of this wish,” the festival wrote on its official Instagram account alongside photos of the “Heart Like A Truck” singer standing on stage next to the fan. 

As he looked out into the sea of people, Johnathan held onto his Texas Longhorn belt buckle which completed his traditional cowboy attire that also included boots and a hat. 

Through Wilson’s post, we see the country star holding Johnathan’s hand on stage as she and the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to him. The two were also spotted sharing a hug backstage in a heartfelt moment that brought a smile to his face. 

Her caption read, “Got to meet a sweet new friend at @voacountrymusicfest… Johnathan “J”, I hope it was the best birthday yet. ❤️OH, thank you for helping make his birthday a dang good one.”

The Louisiana native recently crossed off yet another bucket list item when she delivered her first-ever headlining festival set at the 11th-annual Watershed Music and Camping Festival. Wilson was filling in for Luke Bryan who, unfortunately, had to pull out from his headlining slot due to illness. 

“This is such a frustrating weekend. ‘Shedders, I am sorry to let you down but I am not back singing – can hardly even talk still,” Bryan wrote in an Instagram post, informing fans of the difficult news. “This festival is one of the most beautiful places we perform and one of the most fun crowds always.” 

“I know my friends on the show will bring a great time for you! Show them all what you got. Love ya, Luke!” Bryan’s statement concluded.

The songstress closed out the three-day event as she took the stage on Sunday, August 6, and unleashed her signature Bell Bottom Country flare in front of approximately 22,000 fans. 

Even though Bryan couldn’t make it to the Watershed stage, Wilson still paid homage to the “Country On” singer by delivering several of his fan favorites including “Drink a Beer,” “Drunk on You,” “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day,” and “Country Girl.”

In days following the event, Wilson took to Instagram to commemorate the milestone performance with a sentimental message inspired by words of wisdom from her father. 

“My deddy always told me to grab the reins and hold on tight when life gets crazy and that’s just what we did Sunday night. @lukebryan we missed ya out there…get to feeling better❤️,” she wrote before showing gratitude for all those who attended her set at the festival.  “Thank you @watershedfestival for making my first headlining festival set one to remember.🤘🏻”

Each of these festival appearances comes hot on the heels of Lainey Wilson’s time on the road in support of Luke Combs’ massive World Tour. Next up, she’s scheduled to join Eric Church for select dates of his The Outsiders Revival Tour. 

Wilson will also hit the road with HARDY for the second leg of his the mockingbird & THE CROW tour, presented by Ebay Motors. This trek kicks off on August 31 in Knoxville, Tennessee at Knoxville Civic Coliseum and will come to a close on December 9. 

“It’s about dang time HARDY and I toured together again! It’s gonna be WILD with all these rednecks together,” Wilson wrote on Instagram at the time of the tour announcement.

Lainey Wilson; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Lainey Wilson; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The country singer is next slated to appear alongside Church at the Wharf Amphitheater in Orange Beach, AL on August 17. 

For more information on Lainey Wilson’s music and upcoming tour dates, visit her official website HERE.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.