Anyone who has been following Lainey Wilson over the past few months knows just how big a deal it was to the rising star to walk the 2022 CMA Awards red carpet with her dad, Brian Wilson, on Wednesday night (Nov. 9).
Over the past several months, the singer’s father has dealt with a harrowing series of health issues, ultimately checking in for a two-month-long hospital stay, undergoing several surgeries and suffering the loss of his right eye. In October, Wilson sat down with Taste of Country for a candid conversation about the fungal infection that sent her dad to the hospital, and ultimately nearly claimed his life.
The elder Wilson has had a long, difficult journey to return to health, but that’s the only reason why it meant so much to the singer and her dad to walk the red carpet together. As it turns out, Wilson’s love of country music — and her dreams of a superstar career in the format — just might be genetic.
“This actually was a dream of my daddy’s when he was a little boy,” Wilson told press backstage at the CMAs, holding her freshly-won trophies for New Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year in her arms like little babies.
“He used to roll a picnic table out to the side of the highway and pretend he was Glen Campbell, play his guitar for the cars passing by,” she continues. “So this is a full-circle moment for me and my family, and I’ll tell you what, he was grinning from ear to ear.”
Just as magical as winning her first CMA trophies is having her dad, happy and healthy, by her side, Wilson goes on to say.
“This is the most I’ve seen him smile in months. Since he got sick,” she explains. “Of course, [these trophies] mean the world to me, but also having him here tonight with me meant just as much.”
The 2022 CMA Awards took place in downtown Nashville.