Lainey Wilson to Be Honored as Breakout Artist of the Year by CMT

Hitmaker Lainey Wilson will receive the breakout artist of the year accolade at the upcoming CMT Artists of the Year ceremony, which will air Friday, Oct. 14 beginning at 9 p.m. ET on CMT.

Wilson is the fifth artist to earn this recognition, following previous honorees Mickey Guyton (2021), Ashley McBryde (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2016) and Chris Stapleton (2015).

The 90-minute television special will also recognize CMT artist of the year honorees Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Walker Hayes, Cody Johnson and Carly Pearce. Additionally, Alan Jackson will be honored with the artist of a lifetime accolade during the event, which will be held at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

“This past year has been a wild ride,” Wilson said via a statement. “To be considered for this award reinforces that the years of hard work my team and I have put in was all worth it. The team at CMT feels like family, and the way they genuinely support artists on their platform is so special and important for dreamers like me.”

“When it came to naming ‘Breakout Artist,’ Lainey Wilson was unquestionably our only choice this year,” said Leslie Fram, senior vp, music & talent, CMT, via a statement. “Not only is she a powerhouse performer and tremendously gifted songwriter with contagious energy and drive, she is just starting to show the world her range and versatility, as evident by her upcoming role on hit series ‘Yellowstone.’ From naming her as part of the ‘Next Women of Country’ franchise in 2019 to watching her shine on our CMT Music Awards stage with one of the most memorable performances this year, we couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate Lainey’s much-deserved successes and cheer her on for all that’s next!” 

To date, Wilson has earned two No. 1 Billboard Country Airplay hits, “Things a Man Oughta Know” and the Cole Swindell duet “Never Say Never.” She recently followed those with top 30 Country Airplay entries “Heart Like a Truck” as well as “Wait in the Truck,” a collaboration with HARDY.

Earlier this year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Lainey earned three wins, including new female artist of the year as well as song of the year (for “Things a Man Oughta Know”), and she is the leading nominee heading into November’s CMA Awards, up for six trophies.

Wilson will also release her new album, Bell Bottom Country, on Oct. 28. She recently wrapped an opening run on Jon Pardi’s Ain’t Always The Cowboy tour and is set to play select shows on Luke Combs’ 2023 tour. She will also make her acting debut on the hit series Yellowstone, which returns for season 5 on Sunday, Nov. 13 via Paramount Network. 

Jessica Nicholson