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MGM Grand lands a superstar on ascent for December show

Lainey Wilson says, “A lot can happen in a year, and I am proof of that. I went from playing a show in Alabama to 87 people, and the next thing you know, I’m headlining my very first arena show.”

That’s from Wilson’s “Bell Bottom Country” Hulu documentary series, which premiered Thursday. Announced Monday (after being teased Sunday), Wilson’s remarkably sharp rise as a top country headliner will continue with a stop at MGM Grand Garden on Dec. 14, on her “Wildflowers and Wild Horses” tour. Tracy Lawrence and Mae Estes are her guest stars.

The 32-year-old singer-songwriter is set to perform side-saddle with the National Finals Rodeo, which runs Dec. 5-14 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Raised the northeast Louisiana town of Baskin, a burg of about 200 people, Wilson has been on a torrid streak this year.

The fifth-generation rancher has vaulted from a club performer to an arena tour in six months. Her “Bell Bottom Country” release won this year’s Grammy for Best Country Album, topping the stout group of nominees Brothers Osborne, Kelsea Ballerini, Tyler Childers and Zach Bryan.

And Wilson prevailed as CMA’s Entertainer of the Year, a field typically dominated by male artists (prior to Wilson’s honor, Taylor Swift was the category’s most recent female recipient in 2011). Wilson’s victory snapped Luke Combs’ two-year hold on the award.

Wilson’s top-selling singles have hit in rapid succession, led by “Wildflowers and Wild Horses,” “Heart Like A Truck,” “Things A Man Oughta Know,” and “Watermelon Moonshine” She has also appeared in a scene from the Paramount series “Yellowstone,” role of the country singer Abby, performing “Watermelon Moonshine” on a flatbed trailer in Montana.

Live Nation sent a clever, and not universally decipherable, post to social media on Sunday, trumpeting, “Vegas, Hold your horses… wild horses that is! Big announcement coming tomorrow!” Many followers thought the silhouetted image might be Beyonce, for a residency based on her “Cowboy Carter” album.

Not so. The reference was to Wilson’s “Wildflowers and Wild Horses” single. The budding superstar is taking over where Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and Lady Gaga have packed the room.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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