Lainey Wilson Dominates The 2023 ACM Awards: ‘This Is Absolutely Insane’

Wilson took home trophies in four categories.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 11, 2023

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Lainey Wilson at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by Gilbert Flores, PMC, ACM Awards

Lainey Wilson swept the 2023 ACM Awards with wins in four categories. 

Wilson is the winningest artist of the night, taking home trophies in the following categories: Female Artist of the Year, Album Of The Year (Bell Bottom Country), Music Event Of The Year (“Wait In The Truck” feat. HARDY), Visual Media Of The Year for “Wait In The Truck.” 

Wilson’s Visual Media Of The Year win with HARDY was announced ahead of the show, and the pair’s Music Event of the Year win took place in the first part of the show. 

Wilson appeared to be shocked when ACM Awards co-host Dolly Parton revealed her name as the winner of the Female Artist of the Year category. 

“I can’t believe I just met Dolly Parton, first of all. This is crazy,” Wilson said as she took the stage. 

She went on to showcase her gratitude for her team and everyone who has helped her along the way. 

“First of all, I wanna say thank you to my father, thank you, Jesus, for this. This is absolutely insane. Thank you to my family, they’re out here somewhere, my first believers. My label, Broken Bow, Red Light, Sony Music Publishing, WME,” she shared. “I have so many people on my team who fight for me every single day.” 

Moments later, she paid tribute to her fellow nominees, Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, and Carly Pearce.  

“Ladies in this category, I look up to y’all so much and I’m up here because of y’all, because of people like Dolly Parton paving the way. And I tell you what, everybody in this category didn’t just wind up there by happenstance,” she pointed out. “They have worked their fingers to the bone. They have put the blood, sweat, and tears and years into this. They’ve made so many sacrifices, missing a lot of weddings, a lot of funerals, not that I want to go to all of ’em anyway, but I’m just saying. Oh my goodness”  

Before leaving the stage, Wilson gave a shoutout to the “little girls” watching from home. 

“This right here, it stands for hard work. If you’re gonna be a dreamer, you better be a doer.”

Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC
Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC

Keeping the momentum going, Wilson later won Album of the Year for her latest project, Bell Bottom Country

“Y’all, alright. Let me collect my thoughts. I’m like blacking out. Am I out of breath because of that or because of this? It’s a lot,” she confessed before adding, “I feel so honored, just first of all. Thank you so much to the Academy. I wanna say that Bell Bottom Country has been a labor of love. Thank you to my producer, Mr. Jay Joyce, my incredible songwriters who sometimes know what I’m trying to say better than I do. The musicians who played on this record, my goodness, y’all have helped me find what Bell Bottom Country even sounds like.”

She later recalled writing 300 songs for the album and declared, “A lot of folks have shared with me that this album has changed their life, but the truth is, writing these songs for this album saved mine.” 

As her speech wrapped up, Lainey Wilson added, “So Bell Bottom Country is country with a flare. It’s a state of mind that I’ve always had. It can be how you were raised or the place you call home, but it’s writing a crazy story and it’s making it your own. With a little more love and a lot less hating, be who you wanna be cause everybody else is taken.” 

Lainey Wilson was the undisputed queen of the ACM Awards as she also took the stage to perform not just once, but twice. 

She joined Jelly Roll for a duet of “Save Me,” and also delivered a rollicking retention of her fan-favorite track, “Grease.” 

Devlin Duck Hodges, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC
Devlin Duck Hodges, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC

Prior to the show, Lainey Wilson walked the red carpet with a new man on her arm: her boyfriend, Devlin Hodges.

The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards featured performances by Jason Aldean, Jordan Davis, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Dolly Parton, Jelly Roll, Ed Sheeran, HARDY, Keith Urban, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, Bailey Zimmerman and more.

Nine awards were announced during the live broadcast, including Entertainer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Duo of the Group, Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Song of the Year, and Music Event of the Year. Several winners were also announced ahead of the show.

Additionally, “Country Music’s Party Of The Year” featured a star-studded list of collaborations and unforgettable moments. Reigning ACM Female Artist Of The Year Carly Pearce teamed up with Trisha Yearwood to perform a special medley of in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Yearwood winning Female Artist Of The Year. 

Meanwhile, Cole Swindell joined forces with Jo Dee Messina to deliver an epic performance of the “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” remix and Ashley McBryde took fans to Lindeville with a performance of “Bonfire At Tina’s.”

Gabby Barrett, BRELAND, Brandy Clark, Jordan Davis, Mickey Guyton, Tyler Hubbard, Dustin Lynch, T.J. Osborne, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, MacKenzie Porter, Dak Prescott, Emmitt Smith, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood served as presenters during the ceremony.

The two-hour awards show streamed live for a global audience across 240+ countries and territories exclusively on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch.

Co-hosted by country music icons Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks, the 2023 ACM Awards broadcasted live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas at 7/6c.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.