Lauren Alaina knows the truth is hard to swallow: her life has been a gut-wrenching country song the past few years, in more ways than one. Not only does she face an uphill climb as a female in this crazy industry, but her personal life has been a life-affirming one, as well. Her father, who she loves and adores, suffered from alcoholism and entered rehab last year. To channel her stress over the situation, Alaina co-penned the absolutely haunting “Same Day, Different Bottle,” a tune she first debuted last fall as part of CMT’s Next Women of Country showcase in Nashville.
“That song was like therapy for me. It’s not easy growing up in a household with something like that. I love my dad — he’s one of my favorite people in the world — and he’s a great person. He just struggled with alcohol, and he’s overcoming it right now, so I’m really proud of him,” she shared with Radio.com at the event.
“Same Day, Different Bottle,” co-written by Alaina with Caitlyn Smith and Dan Couch, has all the characteristics of a great country song. It possesses the grit and heartache of a Johnny Cash or George Jones track, with the vocal nuances of Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. It’s layered like an onion; its heartfelt story comes from a very real, tragic place. “It’s a lot harder to write a song like that than it is to write a happy one, I can tell you that right now,” she added in that same interview.
As fans know all-too-well, Alaina first impressed on American Idol in 2011, performing such covers as Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind” and McEntire’s “Turn On The Radio,” among others. Ultimately, she would finish in second place that year, but that’s only a small chunk of her amazing journey. She can not be defined by a singing competition. She’s much more than that, and she’s a real artist coming into her own.
Since the show, she has released one full-length set, her debut Wildflower, which featured her first single “Georgia Peaches” and the stellar “18 Inches.” Funnily enough, her idol Underwood co-wrote the latter song with industry tastemakers Ashley Gorley (Underwood’s “Good Girl,” Brad Paisley’s “Then”) and Kelley Lovelace (Paisley and Underwood’s “Remind Me”). While the album did not chart any major hits, the record did becoming the best-selling female country debut since 2006, as it bowed at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. It shifted over 69,000 copies in its first week of release and also sold nearly 20,000 units digitally. As of January 2013, the album and moved just north of 300,000 copies.
To follow-up this success, Alaina dropped her sassy “Barefoot and Buckwild,” a co-write with Chris DeStefano (Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night,” Jana Kramer’s “Why Ya Wanna”) and Jon Nite (Dierks Bentley’s “Tip It On Back,” Thompson Square’s “Glass”), in 2013. Amidst a crowded market, the song (akin to Miranda Lambert and Underwood) did not become a hit.
As a result, she reentered the studio last year, writing and recording even more new music. There are countless confirmed cuts that are potential songs for her highly anticipated sophomore effort. Those are: “Livin For The Night Kinda Town”(Jaron Boyer, Matt Bronleewe, Phil Barton), “Break Down” (Heather Morgan, Jimmy Robbins), “N O” (Alaina, Ross Copperman, Ryan Tyndell), “That Chevrolet” (Alaina, Morgan), “Catching Fire” (Alaina, Cary Barlowe, Shane Stevens), “Goodbye Song” (Alaina, Barlowe, Eric Paslay), “The World Inside Of Your Heart” (Alaina, Barlowe, Paslay) and “I’ll Remember For You” (Alaina, Jessi Alexander, Troy Verges).
“Beauty Queen” (Alaina, Catt Gravitt, JT Harding, Rob Hawkins)
“Born & Raised” (Alaina, Nicolle Galyon, Jimmy Robbins)
“Every Little Thing” (Alaina, Nite, Robbins)
“The Hardest Goodbye” (Alaina, Morgan, Sean McConnell)
“If I Had Your Heart” (Alaina, Steve McEwan, Gordie Sampson)
“Leaving Me” (Alaina, Tom Douglas, Zac Maloy)
“Long Shot” (Alaina, Marti Frederiksen, Sampson)
“Look At What You’re Missin’” (Alaina, Hillary Lindsey, Sampson)
“New Boyfriend” (Alaina, Jaron Boyer, Matt Bronleewe, Sara Haze)
“Pretty Something” (Alaina, April Geesbreght, Danelle Leverett)
“Ride Around” (Alaina, Kara DioGuardi, Frederiksen, Gravitt)
“Song Of The Summer” (Alaina, Galyon, Robbins)
“The World’s Gonna Turn Without You” (Alaina, Frederiksen, Sampson)
“Up Town Down Home” (Alaina, Lori McKenna, Robbins)
“What Would Jesus Do” (Alaina, Galyon, Robbins)
“We Ain’t Going Home” (Alaina, Lindsey, Robbins)
“Who Do You Think You Are” (Alaina, Preston Brust, Chris Lucas)
[Shout out to Windmills Country for this info!]
Lauren has also been writing in the new year:
— Lauren Alaina (@Lauren_Alaina) January 24, 2014
In concert news: Lauren has been performing in various stages across the country, building up her fan base by going straight to the country music listening crowd. A few of Alaina’s most recent live performances include: a concert at the River City Casino & Hotel in St. Louis, Mo. in February, a Grand Ole show on January 17, 2014, and an appearance at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in December (at which she performed “Grown Up Christmas List”), among many, many more.
For the 2013 CMA Awards, the 19-year-old joined forces with Nan Kelley on the red carpet to chat with country’s music biggest stars on the genre’s biggest night.
At the Rally Foundation‘s upcoming showcase at the Buckhead Theatre in Altanta on March 21, Alaina will serve on the judging panel, alongside Bo Bice, Haley Reinhart and Anthony Fedorov. The live musical event features five talented kids, who have been affected by cancer. They will take the stage to front the band in front of an audience and the panel.
Of course, Alaina has also been using her star power for other causes, too. ACM Lifting Lives partnered with her in October 2013 to spotlight her charity of choice, Special Olympics’ Project Unify.
And I’ll leave you with some super glam news…..Miss Lauren in no longer a blonde:
Okay secret’s out. My hair is now brown. And unlike before, I promise tis no wig. Here ya go. Hope ya like it. Xx pic.twitter.com/L72Hx8hiup
— Lauren Alaina (@Lauren_Alaina) February 20, 2014
Follow CMchatLIVE.com Writer Jason Scott
#CMchat Twitterviews are Mondays from 6-7pmPT on Twitter
For a complete schedule go to cmchatlive.com/calendar
Find out how you can sponsor any features on this website or advertise with CMchat!