The winner of the 17th season of American Idol, Laine Hardy is a country singer who tempers his Louisiana roots with a smooth flair borrowed from pop.
A native of Louisiana, Hardy was born in Baton Rouge on September 12, 2000, but raised in its suburb Livingston. As a child, he learned how to play guitar, and as a teenager he played with his brothers and cousins in the local group the Band Hardy. Eventually, Laine began singing with the Band Hardy.
Soon, Hardy concentrated on singing. When he was just 17 in 2018, he auditioned for the 16th season of American Idol. Hardy didn't make it into the competition, but he did self-release a debut EP called In the Bayou by the end of the year; he also put out a seasonal cover of Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas." Hardy returned to American Idol auditions in 2019. He got onto the show, then proceeded to become a fan favorite, singing a mixture of country and pop classics. Eventually, he made it all the way to the finale, winning the competition in May 2019. After he took home the crown, his coronation single, "Flame," was released; it made it to eight on Billboard's Digital Songs chart. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine