Laine Hardy is the winner of American Idol 2019. He’s captivated audiences all season with his country style and soulful delivery, and how he’s the winner of the world’s biggest music competition. Despite his success, however, Laine is only 18 years old. According to Famous Birthdays, he was born on September 12, 2000.
Laine was raised in Livingston, Louisiana, and started playing the guitar at age 6. He attended French Settlement High School in Livingston, and started a musical group called The Band Hardy. He first auditioned for American Idol in 2016, when he was a senior. He managed to secure a ticket to Hollywood, but he only lasted three weeks before he was eliminated on the “Final Judgment” episode.
Laine Is 18 Years Old & Has Been Playing Music Since He Was 6
“This whole American Idol journey has given me opportunities to be a different person, because I’m a shy person,” Laine told Distractify after the elimination. “It’s helped me kind of get out of that shyness a little bit.” On the day he graduated from high school, Hardy announced the release of his first three singles; two original songs, “Louisiana Lady” and “In the Bayou,” and a cover of his American Idol audition track, “Hurricane.”
“When I started my senior year, I just played locally and sang to have fun,” the teen said. “I didn’t have plans to go to college. I was just gonna work my butt off in the sun with a normal job. Then I got on American Idol, and my whole life changed.” During a recent interview with Parade, Laine talked about his burgeoning songwriting and how his process has changed over the years.
Hardy First Auditioned for ‘American Idol’ When He Was a High School Senior
“With me, I don’t know if this is correct, but first I’ll get the melody. I’ll probably have a melody that I made up like three weeks ago and I’ll start playing it and then I’ll start singing random words that fit with the verses and choruses,” he explained. “I’ll voice memo everything that I do, so I don’t miss anything. But usually for me, it’s a melody and the lyrics, and then just putting verses in lines where they need to be, I guess. I’m still learning. I started songwriting two years ago. I’m still learning.”
Laine is younger than fellow Idol finalist Alejandro Aranda, who’s 24, but slightly older than Madison VanDenberg, who’s also 18 but was born in 2001. He is the third-youngest winner in Idol history behind Scotty McCreery and Jordin Sparks. Both of the aforementioned artists were 17 at the time of their respective victories.
According to Fashion Chandigarh, Hardy is 5’10”. This makes him taller than Alejandro, who’s 5’9″, and Madison, who’s 5’2″. Despite his exposure to fame, Laine told Parade that he prefers his hometown to the big city. “I was raised in Louisiana all my life and to come out here and just be away from home for a month and a half, it’s very tough on me, like tough on my mind,” he said. “But then I always tell myself home is never going to go away. So, it’s always going to be there.”