Lainey Wilson made her acting debut in Yellowstone season 5 when it premiered in January 2023. The final episodes of the popular western drama won’t air until November 2024, but the “Watermelon Moonshine” singer gave credit to the series for helping boost her confidence.

“I mean, I had never acted a day in my life, but when somebody like Taylor Sheridan calls you and asks you, ‘Do you want to be a part of my show?’ it made me feel like, ‘Wow, he sees something in me that I’ve never seen in myself. It was one of the most important things for my self-esteem,” Lainey, 32, said during the Hulu documentary Lainey Wilson: Bell Bottom Country.

Before Lainey appeared in Yellowstone, she was struggling with ticket sales for her shows despite having a number one hit and a few awards under her belt.

“There was a big disconnect after ‘Things a Man Oughta Know,’” Lainey explained. “We had this big old hit and we had even won some awards, but we weren’t selling tickets.”

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She continued, “I think people knew some of the songs on the record, I think they knew my name. I think they knew what my voice sounded like when it came on the radio, but they didn’t know me. Appearing on Yellowstone put a face to a name. They had put three of my songs in the show, and it’s an opportunity that came from a lot of different stars aligning, but also my relationship with Taylor Sheridan.”

Lainey’s role of Abby in Yellowstone was essentially created just for her by showrunner, Taylor Sheridan.

“Taylor Sheridan called me and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea. I want to create a role for you that I pretty much want you to be yourself,” the Country Music Awards winner said.

Ian Bohen, Lainey’s Yellowstone costar, also expanded on how Taylor, 54, decided to choose Lainey for the role of Abby in Lainey Wilson: Bell Bottom Country.

Lainey Wilson Credits Yellowstone for Self-Esteem Boost
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“Taylor Sheridan, our creator, would comb through music that is not super mainstream. When he saw her and heard her, what she sings about and the way she presents it is perfectly in line with what our show’s about. It is for the rancher, it’s for the farmer. It’s a no-brainer to put them together,” Ian, 47, said. “She’s playing a version of herself, but she’s not playing Lainey.”

The country superstar’s appearance on Yellowstone set her on a path to fame and she has no problem selling out arenas now. Just one year after her debut in 2023, Lainey became the first woman to win the Entertainer of the Year award at the CMAs since Taylor Swift in 2011.