Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina

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Lauren Alaina
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Background information
Birth name Lauren Alaina Kristine Suddeth
Born (1994-11-08) November 8, 1994 (age 23)
Rossville, Georgia, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2011–present

Lauren Alaina (born Lauren Alaina Kristine Suddeth; November 8, 1994) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress from Rossville, Georgia. She was the runner-up on the tenth season of American Idol. Her debut studio album, Wildflower was released on October 11, 2011. Her second album, Road Less Traveled was released January 27, 2017. Alaina later achieved her first number one on the Country Airplay chart with the album’s title track. Her second number one came later that year when she simultaneously topped five Billboard charts with her friend and former classmate Kane Brown on their duet “What Ifs“.

Early life[edit]

Alaina was born on November 8, 1994, to Kristy and J.J. Suddeth of Rossville, Georgia. Her father works as a process technician in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[2]

Alaina started to sing at the age of three. Her first public performances followed with a kids choir and an annual vacation spot that offered karaoke. She sang in church, restaurants, family holiday gatherings and anywhere within a 30-mile radius of where she lived.[3][not in citation given]

At age eight, Alaina entered the talent competition of the Southern Stars Pageant and won. The next year she was selected to perform on the Kids talent stage at Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival. She performed on that stage annually until age twelve, when she won the competition that allowed her to perform on the festival’s big stage. She traveled to Orlando, Florida, when she was ten to compete in the American Model and Talent Competition. She won the event, beating out 1,500 kids. Alaina sang with the Georgia Country Gospel Music Association’s children’s group. At age twelve, Alaina made her first of many trips to Nashville. She performed at local bars on Broadway, such as Tootsie’s.[3] In 2009, Alaina was the first winner of the WinniSTAR youth talent contest at Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park.[4] In addition to performing, Alaina wrote several songs including “Leaving” and “Set Me Free”.

Alaina was inspired to sing by her cousin, Holly Witherow, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.[5] Prior to Idol, Alaina worked at CiCi’s Pizza.[4] She attended Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, where she was a cheerleader.[6][7]

American Idol[edit]


Alaina auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol in Nashville, Tennessee. From early on, Alaina was a judge favorite. After her audition, Idol judge Steven Tyler stated, “We found the one.” May 14, 2011, was proclaimed “Lauren Alaina Day” in her hometown of Rossville, Georgia. During the season finale, Alaina sang “Before He Cheats” with her idol, Carrie Underwood. On May 25, 2011, Alaina was declared the runner-up.


Episode Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner’s Choice SoloLike We Never Loved at All Faith Hill N/A Advanced
DuetI Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” with Steven Tyler Aerosmith
Hollywood Round, Part 1 First Solo Unchained Melody Todd Duncan N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 2 Group Performance Some Kind of Wonderful Soul Brothers Six N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 3 Second Solo “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” Aerosmith N/A Advanced
Las Vegas Round Songs of The Beatles
Group Performance
Hello, Goodbye The Beatles N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round Final Final Solo “Unchained Melody” Todd Duncan N/A Advanced
Top 24 (12 Women) Personal Choice Turn On the Radio Reba McEntire 11 Advanced
Top 13 Your Personal Idol Any Man of Mine Shania Twain 1 Safe
Top 12 Year You Were Born I’m the Only One Melissa Etheridge 11 Safe
Top 11 Motown You Keep Me Hangin’ On The Supremes 4 Safe
Top 111 Elton John Candle in the Wind Elton John 6 Safe
Top 9 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman Aretha Franklin 4 Safe
Top 8 Songs from the Movies The Climb” – Hannah Montana: The Movie Miley Cyrus 2 Safe
Top 7 Songs from the 21st Century Born to Fly Sara Evans 7 Safe
Top 6 Carole King SoloWhere You Lead Carole King 2 Safe
DuetUp on the Roof” with Scotty McCreery The Drifters 6
Top 5 Songs from Now and Then “Flat on the Floor” Katrina Elam 3 Bottom 22
“Unchained Melody” Todd Duncan 8
Top 4 Inspirational Songs Anyway Martina McBride 4 Safe
Leiber & Stoller Songbook Trouble Elvis Presley 7
Top 3 Contestant’s Choice Wild One Zaca Creek 2 Safe
Jimmy Iovine‘s Choice If I Die Young The Band Perry 5
Judges’ Choice I Hope You Dance Lee Ann Womack 8
Finale Favorite Idol Performance “Flat on the Floor” Katrina Elam 2 Runner-up
Carrie Underwood‘s Choice Maybe It Was Memphis Pam Tillis 4
Coronation Song Like My Mother Does Kristy Lee Cook 6
  • ^Note 1 Due to the judges using their one save on Casey Abrams, the Top 11 remained intact for another week, when two contestants were eliminated.
  • ^Note 2 When Ryan Seacrest announced the results for this particular night, Alaina was in the bottom 2, but was declared safe as Jacob Lusk was eliminated.

Music career[edit]

Following Idol, Alaina was signed to Interscope Records, Mercury Nashville and 19 Recordings. Alaina released her single “Like My Mother Does“. The song entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at forty-nine[8] and the Hot 100 chart at twenty[9] and sold 121,000 copies in its first week.[10] “Like My Mother Does” peaked at thirty-six on the Hot Country Songs chart.[11]

Following the conclusion of Season 10, Alaina appeared and performed on several talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[12] Live with Regis and Kelly[13] and The Today Show.[14][15] On June 8, 2011, Alaina and McCreery presented at the CMT Music Awards.[16] In addition, Alaina made her Grand Ole Opry debut on June 10.[17] She performed with Martina McBride at LP Field during the CMA Music Festival.[18] The following summer, Alaina toured with the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2011, which began in West Valley City, Utah on July 6, 2011 and ended in Manila, Philippines on September 21, 2011.[19]

2011–2012: Wildflower[edit]

On October 11, 2011, Alaina released her debut album Wildflower, which debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold 69,000 copies the first week.[20] The single “Georgia Peaches” was released to country radio on October 24.[21] It reached twenty-eight on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.[11]

To promote her album, Alaina made numerous television and radio appearances. She performed her single “Georgia Peaches” on Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kelly and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. On October 22, 2011, Alaina performed at Opry Goes Pink, a benefit concert at the Grand Ole Opry for Women for the Cure.[21] On November 10, 2011, Alaina performed “My Grown Up Christmas List” on CMA Country Christmas.[22][23] In addition, Alaina performed for Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in the PBS special In Performance at the White House on November 21.[24][25][26] She sang the National Anthem at the Thanksgiving Day game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.[27] On New Year’s Eve, Alaina performed her single “Georgia Peaches” on American Country New Year’s Eve Live.[28][29]

Alaina served as an opening act for Jason Aldean‘s My Kinda Party Tour from January 20, 2012 to May 19, 2012.[30] In addition to the My Kinda Party Tour, Alaina opened for Sugarland‘s In the Hands of the Fans Tour for a number of selected dates, beginning on April 5, 2012 and concluding on September 1, 2012.[31] On March 8, 2012, Alaina performed “Georgia Peaches” on the eleventh season of American Idol.[32] On March 26, 2012, Alaina performed her single “Georgia Peaches” on The Today Show.[33][34] On June 16, 2012, Alaina headlined the final show of Riverbend, a music festival in her hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee.[35]

In July 2012, “Eighteen Inches” became Alaina’s third single off her album, Wildflower.[36] The single was sent to country radio on July 16.[37] “Eighteen Inches” hit thirty-seven on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list.[11] In support of the song, Alaina embarked on an 18-city tour. Proceeds from each show benefited various local charities, including the Special Olympics. The Inch-By-Inch tour kicked off on September 21, 2012, and wrapped up November 12, 2012.[38]

At the 2012 American Country Awards, Alaina was selected as the New Artist of the Year.[39][40]

2013–present: Lauren Alaina EP and Road Less Traveled[edit]

In January 2013, Alaina started recording her second album.[41] On May 7, 2013, Alaina released the single “Barefoot and Buckwild“, which charted at thirty-four on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.[11] She performed the song on the twelfth season of American Idol on May 9, 2013.[42] In May 2013, Alaina also released a track titled “Antarctica: One World, One Family”. The track serves as the theme song for the SeaWorld attraction Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.[43] On December 10, 2013, Alaina released her cover of “My Grown Up Christmas List”.[44] On September 18, 2015, Alaina released the single “Next Boyfriend“. “Next Boyfriend” was added to radio stations on September 28.[45] It reached thirty-nine on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.[11] A EP followed on October 2, 2015.[46] A track on the EP, “History” was used for ESPN College Football coverage.[47]

Throughout 2016, Alaina opened for several shows on Alan Jackson‘s Still Keepin’ It Country Tour.[48] On November 18, 2016, Alaina released her cover of “Oh Holy Night“.[49]

Alaina released the single “Road Less Traveled“, which she co-wrote with Meghan Trainor and Jesse Frasure, on July 11, 2016.[50] Alaina performed the track on The Today Show on September 8, 2016[51] and on Harry on February 7, 2017.[52] In April 2017, “Road Less Traveled” reached number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

On January 27, 2017, Alaina released her second album Road Less Traveled.[53] Tracks for Alaina’s album include “Same Day Different Bottle”,[54] “Doin’ Fine”,[55] “My Kinda People”,[56] “Pretty”,[57] “Crashin’ the Boys Club” and “Queen of Hearts”,[58] as well as four tracks from her self-titled EP.[46] Alaina describes Road Less Traveled as “very different” from her debut album.[59] In addition, self acceptance and love is a big theme on the album. “We are all different and that’s what makes us all beautiful. The album will reflect that further. It will have some fun songs and sad songs – a little bit of what my life has been like over the past few years”, Alaina says.[60] Alaina performed “Doin’ Fine” on Good Morning America on January 31, 2017.[61]

In February and March 2017, Alaina toured with Martina McBride on her Love Unleashed Tour.[62] Throughout June and July 2017, Alaina appeared on Luke Bryan‘s Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour for a number of selected dates.[63] In May 2017, Alaina contributed guest vocals to the song “Are You Happy Now” from Rascal Flatts‘ tenth studio album, Back to Us.[64]

Alaina’s third single from Road Less Traveled, “Doin’ Fine”, was released May 22, 2017.[65] Alaina became the only female to top both country charts in 2017 after “Road Less Traveled” topped the Country Airplay chart and “What Ifs” topped the Hot Country chart. This also made her one of the only three women to top either country chart in 2017.

Alaina performed “Doin’ Fine” and “What Ifs” at the 2018 ACM Awards in which she won New Female Vocalist of the Year. At the 2018 CMT Music Awards, Alaina and Brown won the award for “Best Collaborative Video” for “What Ifs” and were among the top five vote getters for “Video of the Year” for the same song.

Throughout 2018, Alaina has toured with artists such as Alan Jackson, Cole Swindell, and Jason Aldean.

Other ventures[edit]

In September and October 2016, Alaina filmed her very first movie The Road Less Traveled, which took place in Knoxville, Tennessee.[66] The film was released on June 6, 2017.[67][68] It then premiered on CMT on November 10, 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Alaina’s parents divorced in 2013. Her father was an alcoholic but has been sober since October 2013. Both her parents remarried.[69]

Throughout her teen years, Alaina struggled with bulimia.[70] “I had an eating disorder for like four years, and I was just lost,” she says of her battle with bulimia. … I found myself in these last few years, through music and family and good people around me.”[71][72]

Alaina is a Christian and often states that she lives for Jesus Christ.[73]

She has been dating Alexander Hopkins since 2012.[74]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US Country
UK Country
Wildflower 2 5 22
Road Less Traveled
  • Release date: January 27, 2017
  • Label: Interscope/Mercury Nashville/19
  • Formats: CD, digital download
3 31 7
“—” denotes a recording that failed to chart.

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US Country
US Indie
American Idol Season 10:
Lauren Alaina
  • Release date: May 24, 2011
  • Label: 19
  • Formats: Digital download
9 42 6

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart
US Country
American Idol Season 10
Highlights: Lauren Alaina
  • Release date: June 28, 2011
  • Label: 19/Interscope/Mercury Nashville
  • Format: CD, digital download
6 24
Lauren Alaina
  • Release date: October 2, 2015
  • Label: 19/Interscope/Mercury Nashville
  • Format: CD, digital download
“—” denotes a recording that did not chart.


As lead artist[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Sales Album
US Country
US Country Airplay
CAN Country
2011 Like My Mother Does 36 20 48 50 Wildflower
Georgia Peaches 28
2012 Eighteen Inches 37 34
2013 Barefoot and Buckwild 34 56 Non-album single
2015 Next Boyfriend 39 43 Road Less Traveled
2016 Road Less Traveled 8 1 67 3
2017 Doin’ Fine 34 27
“—” denotes a recording that did not chart.

As featured artist[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Sales Album
US Country
US Country Airplay
CAN Country
2017 What Ifs
(Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina)
1 1 26 3 45 Kane Brown

Promotional singles[edit]

Year Single Album
2013 My Grown Up Christmas List[97] Non-album single
2015 “History”[47] Lauren Alaina
2016 O Holy Night[49] Country Christmas Greatest Hits
“Queen of Hearts”[98] Road Less Traveled
2017 “Same Day Different Bottle”[99]

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Song Peak chart
US Country Digital
US Bubbling
2011 “Dirt Road Prayer” 20 18 Wildflower
“The Middle” 49
“—” denotes a recording that did not chart.

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2011 “Like My Mother Does” Shaun Silva
2012 “Georgia Peaches” David McClister
2016 “Next Boyfriend”[101] TK McKamy
“Road Less Traveled”[102] Chris Hicky
2017 “What Ifs” (with Kane Brown) P.R. Brown
“Doin’ Fine” Carlos Ruiz

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee / Work Result Ref
2012 CMT Music Awards USA Breakthrough Video of the Year Georgia Peaches Nominated [103]
Teen Choice Awards 2012 Choice Female Country Artist Herself Nominated [104]
Choice TV: Female Reality Star (American Idol) Nominated
Inspirational Country Music Awards Inspirational video Like My Mother Does Nominated [105]
American Country Awards New Artist of the Year Herself Won [39]
2017 ACM Awards New Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated [106]
Radio Disney Music Awards Country Best New Artist Nominated [107]
CMT Music Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year Road Less Traveled Won [108]
Female Video of the Year Nominated
Social Superstar Herself Nominated
Music Row Awards Breakthrough Artist Writer of the Year Herself Won [109]
CMA Awards New Artist of the Year Herself Nominated [110]
2018 ACM Awards New Female Vocalist of the Year Won [111]
Vocal Event of the Year What Ifs” with (Kane Brown) Nominated
Billboard Music Award Top Country Song Nominated [112]
CMT Music Awards Video of the Year Nominated [113]
Collaborative Video of the Year Won
Female Video of the Year Doin’ Fine Nominated
Golden Mic Awards Best Club Act Herself Nominated [114]





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