Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Yellowstone/Paramount+ Network
Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Yellowstone/Paramount+ Network

Lainey Wilson Makes Acting Debut During Record-Breaking ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Premiere With 12.1 Million Viewers

Lainey Wilson made her acting debut on the Season 5 premiere of Yellowstone, which wrangled in a record-breaking 12.1 million viewers on Sunday night (Nov 13).

Wilson is without a doubt the talk of the town after six CMA nominations and two awards, new artist and female vocalist of the year. The country singer is flying high with another considerable accomplishment— her first time on the big screen, rounding out this milestone year by adding to her list of talents.

The neo-Western drama featuring Kevin Costner broke rating records for its fifth season premiere, making Yellowstone the top scripted series premiere of 2022 according to Samba TV. The mega-hit series roped in its largest audience to date. They also announced the upcoming prequel to the show titled 1923, starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirrin which is set to air in December. It will be the sequel to last year’s spinoff 1883 which featured Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

The “Things a Man Outta Know” singer got acquainted with the show’s co-creator, Taylor Sheridan, after one of her songs landed in an episode.

He later asked if she wanted to star in the show.

“He said, ‘I want to create a character specifically for you,'” she recalled. “He said, ‘I want you to wear what you wear, sing what you’re singing and pretty much just be yourself. You’re gonna go by Abby. She’s a musician.’ And without even thinking, I just said, ‘Yes, count me in. Let’s do it.'”

Abby’s character shared the screen with Beth Dutton, played by Reilly Kelly, as they babbled the pros and cons of dating a cowboy. As they eyed the bunkhouse boys messing around with their lassos, Abby vowed to never settle down for a cowboy, being that she’d never be the most important thing to them; she’ll always come second to the cowboy lifestyle. Beth, however, dismissed the idea and told Abby that she wants to be with someone who’s got a full life and something to share with her. The brief pep-talk might have been enough to spark Abby’s interests, since it didn’t take much for her to give in to dancing with Ryan (Ian Bohen), one of the bunkhouse boys.

Wilson had only good things to share about the cast members.

“Everybody was so kind. I didn’t know what to expect, I had met some of the cast and crew back in 2020 because Taylor had invited me to play a little private party,” saying how “they welcomed me with open arms [and] treated me like one of their own.”

Although the season has wrapped up filming, Wilson is anticipating being back on the show at some point. “As of right now, we have finished,” she says. “They haven’t taken me to the train station just yet. So as far as I know, we’re gonna be in more.”

Wilson told PEOPLE, she truly enjoyed the filming process and would love to welcome more acting opportunities. “I love creating things,” she said, “and I feel like that’s what acting is. It’s just being creative.”

The Louisiana native hosted a live watch party on social media Sunday night, and CMT posted a video of her to celebrate the moment.

“So fun getting to watch the season premiere together live,” Wilson commented on CMT’s Instagram. “Cheers to @laineywilsonmusic’s debut in @yellowstone Season 5 🥂 #YellowstoneTV,” the network captioned the post.

Even during commercial breaks, fans were still able to catch Wilson starring as the new face of Tractor Supply. As the company’s new brand ambassador, the country singer starred in their TV ad with a video montage from her childhood days in rural Louisiana up to her recent moments performing on stage as her song “Live Off” played in the background.

“Live Off” appear on Wilson’s latest album, Bell Bottom Country, which arrived on October 28 via BBR Music Group/Broken Bow Records. The project features 14 tracks, including “Heart Like A Truck” and “Watermelon Moonshine.” The project also features a tribute to her “Deddy” and a cover of 4 Non Blondes classic hit “What’s Up (What’s Going On).” Wilson co-wrote every song on the album except for the 4 Non Blondes cover.

The reigning ACM New Female Artist of the year is now set to embark on her first-ever headlining tour in 2023 called Country With a Flair presented by Stella Rosa Future is Female. The 27-city tour will launch in January of 2023 and end in March, with openers Ben Chapman as well as Meg McRee and Leah Blevins on select dates.

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