Lainey Wilson Talks 2022 CMT Music Awards, Says, “To Be Recognized, That’s All I Wanted”

Lainey Wilson says that when Cole Swindell texted her their hit duet "Never Say Never," it was an answered prayer.

Lainey Wilson and her family drove from Louisiana to Nashville almost every year since she was 14 years old to attend the CMT Music Awards.

This year, she’ll be there as a featured performer and two-time nominee.

“Oh my gosh, this is a big moment,” Wilson said. Wearing a silver, shimmering jacket and her signature bellbottoms, Wilson lounges in a backstage dressing room at the Grand Ole Opry House, awaiting her turn to practice with the Opry band. “I’ve always just dreamed about having a big performance and being a part of the show. And, here we are.”

Wilson and her duo partner Cole Swindell are nominated for the night’s top honor, Video of the Year, as well as Collaborative Video of the Year, for their Top 5 (and climbing) duet “Never Say Never.” The passionate, call-and-answer power ballad is from Swindell’s new album “Stereotype,” which is out now.

“Never Say Never” is an answered prayer for Wilson. Her breakthrough hit “Things a Man Oughta Know” was a couple of months away from becoming her first No. 1 song, and she was concerned about her next career move. She started praying for guidance on what music to release next, and Swindell texted “Never Say Never” to her soon after. He told her he wrote it with Chase McGill and Jessi Alexander years before and was just waiting for the right person to sing it with.

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