Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina
Background information
Birth name Lauren Alaina Kristine Suddeth
Born (1994-11-08) November 8, 1994
Origin Rossville, Georgia, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2011–present

Lauren Alaina (born Lauren Alaina Kristine Suddeth; November 8, 1994) is an American country music singer and songwriter from Rossville, Georgia. Alaina was the runner-up on the tenth season of American Idol. Her debut studio album, Wildflower was released on October 11, 2011.

Early life

Alaina was born on November 8, 1994, to Kristy and J.J. Suddeth of Rossville, Georgia. Her father works as a process technician in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[2]

Alaina started to sing at the age of three. Her mother was listening to the Dixie Chicks. “I heard this little voice continue to sing the song,” Kristy says. “I absolutely marveled that she stayed with the music and knew every word to the song.” Alaina's first public performances followed with a kids choir as well as an annual vacation spot that offered karaoke. She sang in church, restaurants, family holiday gatherings and anywhere within a 30-mile radius of where she lived.[3]

At age eight, Alaina entered the talent competition of the Southern Stars Pageant and won. The next year she was selected to perform on the Kids talent stage at Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival. She performed on that stage annually until age twelve, when she won the competition that allowed her to perform on the festival’s big stage. She traveled to Orlando when she was ten to compete in the American Model and Talent Competition. She won the event, beating out 1,500 kids. Growing up, Alaina also sang with the Georgia Country Gospel Music Association’s children’s group. At the age of twelve, Alaina made her first of many trips to Nashville. She performed at local bars on Broadway, such as Tootsie's.[3] In 2009, Alaina was the first winner of the WinniSTAR youth talent contest at Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park.[4] In addition to performing, Alaina wrote several songs including "Leaving" and "Set Me Free".

Alaina was inspired to sing by her cousin, Holly Witherow, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.[5] Prior to Idol, Alaina worked at CiCi's Pizza.[4] She attended Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, where she was a cheerleader.[6][7]

American Idol


Alaina auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol in Nashville, Tennessee. From early on, Alaina was a judge favorite. After her audition, Idol judge Steven Tyler stated, "We found the one." May 14, 2011 was proclaimed "Lauren Alaina Day" in her hometown of Rossville, Georgia. During the season finale, Alaina sang "Before He Cheats" with her idol, Carrie Underwood. On May 25, 2011, Alaina was declared the runner-up.


Episode Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice
Solo "Like We Never Loved at All" Faith Hill N/A Advanced
Duet "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" with Steven Tyler Aerosmith
Hollywood Round, Part 1 First Solo "Unchained Melody" Todd Duncan N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 2 Group Performance "Some Kind of Wonderful" Soul Brothers Six N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 3 Second Solo "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Aerosmith N/A Advanced
Las Vegas Round Songs of The Beatles
Group Performance
"Hello, Goodbye" The Beatles N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round Final Final Solo "Unchained Melody" Todd Duncan N/A Advanced
Top 24 (12 Women) Personal Choice "Turn On the Radio" Reba McEntire 11 Advanced
Top 13 Your Personal Idol "Any Man of Mine" Shania Twain 1 Safe
Top 12 Year You Were Born "I'm the Only One" Melissa Etheridge 11 Safe
Top 11 Motown "You Keep Me Hangin' On" The Supremes 4 Safe
Top 111 Elton John "Candle in the Wind" Elton John 6 Safe
Top 9 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Aretha Franklin 4 Safe
Top 8 Songs from the Movies "The Climb" – Hannah Montana: The Movie Miley Cyrus 2 Safe
Top 7 Songs from the 21st Century "Born to Fly" Sara Evans 7 Safe
Top 6 Carole King Solo "Where You Lead" Carole King 2 Safe
Duet "Up on the Roof" with Scotty McCreery The Drifters 6
Top 5 Songs from Now and Then "Flat on the Floor" Katrina Elam 3 Bottom 22
"Unchained Melody" Todd Duncan 8
Top 4 Inspirational Songs "Anyway" Martina McBride 4 Safe
Leiber & Stoller Songbook "Trouble" Elvis Presley 7
Top 3 Contestant's Choice "Wild One" Zaca Creek 2 Safe
Jimmy Iovine's Choice "If I Die Young" The Band Perry 5
Judges' Choice "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack 8
Finale Favorite Idol Performance "Flat on the Floor" Katrina Elam 2 Runner-up
Carrie Underwood's Choice "Maybe It Was Memphis" Pam Tillis 4
Coronation Song "Like My Mother Does" Kristy Lee Cook 6

Music career

Following Idol, Alaina was signed to Interscope Records, Mercury Nashville and 19 Recordings. Alaina released her single "Like My Mother Does". The song entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at forty-nine[8] and the Hot 100 chart at twenty[9] and sold 121,000 copies in its first week.[10] "Like My Mother Does" peaked at thirty-six on the Hot Country Songs chart.[11]

Following the conclusion of Season 10, Alaina appeared and performed on several talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live with Regis and Kelly and The Today Show. On June 8, 2011, Alaina and McCreery presented at the CMT Music Awards. In addition, Alaina made her Grand Ole Opry debut on June 9. She performed with Martina McBride during her LP Field performance at the CMA Music Festival the following day. The following summer, Alaina toured with the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2011, which began in West Valley City, Utah on July 6, 2011 and ended in Manila, Philippines on September 21, 2011.

2011-2012: Wildflower

On October 11, 2011, Alaina released her debut album Wildflower, which debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold 69,000 copies the first week.[12] The single "Georgia Peaches" was released to country radio on October 24.[13] It reached twenty-eight on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.[11]

To promote her album, Alaina made numerous television and radio appearances. She performed her single "Georgia Peaches" on Good Morning America, Live with Regis & Kelly and The Ellen Degeneres Show. On October 22, 2011, Alaina performed at Opry Goes Pink, a benefit concert at the Grand Ole Opry for Women for the Cure.[13] On November 10, 2011, Alaina performed "My Grown Up Christmas List" on CMA Country Christmas. In addition, Alaina performed for Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in the PBS special In Performance at the White House on November 21. She sang the National Anthem at the Thanksgiving Day game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. On New Year's Eve, Alaina performed her single "Georgia Peaches" on American Country New Year's Eve Live.

Alaina served as an opening act for Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party Tour from January 20, 2012 to May 19, 2012.[14] In addition to the My Kinda Party Tour, Alaina opened for Sugarland's In the Hands of the Fans Tour for a number of selected dates, beginning on April 5, 2012 and concluding on September 1, 2012.[15] On March 8, 2012, Alaina performed "Georgia Peaches" on the eleventh season of American Idol. On March 26, 2012, Alaina performed her single "Georgia Peaches" on The Today Show. On June 16, 2012, Alaina headlined the final show of Riverbend, a music festival in her hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee.[16]

In July 2012, "Eighteen Inches" became Alaina's third single off her album, Wildflower.[17] The single was sent to country radio on July 16.[18] "Eighteen Inches" hit thirty-seven on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list.[11] In support of the song, Alaina embarked on an 18-city tour. Proceeds from each show benefited various local charities, including the Special Olympics. The Inch-By-Inch tour kicked off on September 21, 2012, and wrapped up November 12, 2012.[19]

At the 2012 American Country Awards, Alaina was selected as the New Artist of the Year.[20]

2012-present: Lauren Alaina EP and upcoming second studio album

On January 21, 2013, Alaina posted on her Twitter account that she had started recording for her second album.[21] On May 7, 2013, Alaina released the single "Barefoot and Buckwild", which charted at thirty-four for Billboard Hot Country Songs.[11] She performed the song on the twelfth season of American Idol on May 9, 2013.[22] In May 2013, Alaina also released a track titled "Antarctica: One World, One Family". The track serves as the theme song for the SeaWorld attraction Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.[23] On December 10, 2013, Alaina released her cover of "My Grown Up Christmas List".[24]

As of June 2015, Alaina has finished recording her sophomore album. Alaina states that the album will have 12 songs on it.[25] Possible tracks for Alaina's upcoming album include "Breakdown",[26] "Same Day, Different Bottle",[27] "Doing Fine", "Breathe Again",[28] "My Kind of People",[29] "Pretty",[30] "Crashin' the Boys' Club" and "Queen of Hearts".[31] In addition, her upcoming album will be different from her first. "It’s not really like my first record at all. Everything’s different. I have a new voice, too. It’s a brand new me!" Alaina says.[32] For Alaina, the message of self acceptance and love will be a big theme on her forthcoming album. “The message of self-acceptance and love is really what I want to say to my audience,” Alaina says. “We are all different and that’s what makes us all beautiful. The album will reflect that further. It will have some fun songs and sad songs – a little bit of what my life has been like over the past few years.”[33] Alaina's sophomore album is scheduled to be released in early 2017.[34]

On September 18, 2015, Alaina released the single "Next Boyfriend". Next Boyfriend was added to radio stations on September 28.[35] It reached thirty-nine on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.[11] A EP followed on October 2, 2015.[36]

A track on the EP, "History" was used for ESPN college football coverage.[37]

Alaina's current single "Road Less Traveled" was released July 11, 2016.[38] Alaina performed the track on The Today Show on September 8, 2016.[39]

Throughout 2016, Alaina opened for several shows on Alan Jackson's Still Keepin' It Country Tour.[40]

On November 18, 2016, Alaina released her cover of "Oh Holy Night".[41]

Alaina is set to tour with Martina McBride on her upcoming 2017 Love Unleashed Tour. The tour starts up in February and runs through March.[42]

Other ventures

In September and October 2016, Alaina filmed her very first movie "The Road Less Traveled". The film centers on Charlotte (Alaina) who is struggling with balancing her upcoming wedding with her songwriting career. Filming took place in Knoxville, Tennessee.[43] The film is expected to be released in early 2017.[34]

Personal life

Lauren's parents got divorced in 2013. Her father was an alcoholic, but got sober in October 2013. Both her parents remarried.[44]

Throughout her teen years, Alaina struggled with bulimia. “I just desperately wanted to be thin,” she said.[45] "I had an eating disorder for like four years, and I was just lost," she says of her battle with bulimia. Being in the spotlight didn't help matters. "I was fifteen on American Idol, and everybody had something to say," Alaina continued. "Even before I was in the spotlight, I really worried about my weight. Then I think just being on national television and people saying not nice things online really haunted me and made it ten times worse. It's still devastating when someone says something horrible about me, but I love myself so much more as a person. I found myself in these last few years, through music and family and good people around me."[46][47]

Alaina is a Christian and often states that she lives for Jesus Christ.[48]

She has been dating Alexander Hopkins since 2012.[49]



Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US Country
Wildflower 2 5 22

Compilation albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US Country
US Indie
American Idol Season 10:
Lauren Alaina
  • Release date: May 24, 2011
  • Label: 19
  • Formats: Digital download
9 42 6

Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart
US Country
American Idol Season 10
Highlights: Lauren Alaina
  • Release date: June 28, 2011
  • Label: 19/Interscope/Mercury Nashville
  • Format: CD, digital download
6 24
Lauren Alaina
  • Release date: October 2, 2015
  • Label: 19/Interscope/Mercury Nashville
  • Format: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.


Year Single Peak chart positions Sales Album
US Country
US Country Airplay
CAN Country
2011 "Like My Mother Does" 36 36 20 50 Wildflower
"Georgia Peaches" 28 28
2012 "Eighteen Inches" 37 34
2013 "Barefoot and Buckwild" 34 56 Non-album single
2015 "Next Boyfriend" 39 43 Lauren Alaina
2016 "Road Less Traveled"A 25 19 43
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.

Promotional singles

Year Single Album
2013 "My Grown Up Christmas List"[69] Non-album single
2015 "History"[37] Lauren Alaina
2016 "O Holy Night"[41] Country Christmas Greatest Hits

Other charted songs

Year Song Peak chart
US Country Digital
US Bubbling
2011 "Dirt Road Prayer" 20 18 Wildflower
"The Middle" 49
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.

Music videos

Year Video Director
2011 "Like My Mother Does" Shaun Silva
2012 "Georgia Peaches" David McClister
2016 "Next Boyfriend"[71] TK McKamy
"Road Less Traveled"[72] Chris Hicky

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Result
2012 CMT Music Awards USA Breakthrough Video of the Year Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2012 Choice Female Country Artist Nominated
Choice TV: Female Reality Star (American Idol) Nominated
Inspirational Country Music Awards Inspirational video — "Like My Mother Does" Nominated
American Country Awards New Artist of the Year Won[20]


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External links

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