2017 was a good year for Lauren Alaina! The Georgia native landed at No.3 on the list of Country Radio's Top Female Performers of the year (according to PAC Radio), coming in behind Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini, and beating out artists like Carrie Underwood, Carly Pearce and Miranda Lambert. She also came in third in the list of Top New Artist Performers, behind Luke Combs and Dylan Scott, and ahead of Midland, Pearce and Russell Dickerson.
Alaina released her sophomore Road Less Traveled album earlier this year, which included Alaina's first No. 1 single with the title track, along with the autobiographical "Doin' Fine." She also appeared on on Kane Brown's chart-topping "What Ifs" single, received both ACM and CMA Awards nominations, and took home the CMT Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year.
It's a lot for a young woman whose freshman Wildflower album was released in 2011, only a few months after being declared the runner-up in Season 10 of American Idol, with Scotty McCreery crowned the winner. But in that time, Alaina worked on herself, her health (after battling bulimia), and her music.
"I've been waiting for last year to happen for the last six years," Alaina said (quote via The Boot)."It's such a rewarding feeling when I know that people are pulling for me ... It made me feel so loved, and that's our goal on Earth, I think, is to feel loved. I felt loved by everyone the last year. I've always felt loved, but I feel really loved now."
Alaina's 2018 already looks just as promising. The 23-year-old will join Cole Swindell in serving as the opening act, along with Chris Janson, on Swindell's Reason to Drink Tour. She also scored a coveted slot on the Country Radio Seminar New Faces show on Feb. 7.
A list of all of Alaina's upcoming performances is available on her website.