There is no questioning the raw talent of American Idol Top 3 contestant Laine Hardy, and because he’s also incredibly easy on the eyes, viewers can’t help but wonder about his background and ethnicity. So, what is the 18-year-old’s official nationality?
Born and raised in Livingston, Louisiana, Hardy, who graduated from French Settlement High School in 2018, is American. As for his ethnicity, the Elvis look-a-like is of mixed race. Hardy prefers to keep the focus on his music, and has yet to speak publicly about his background, but based on photos posted on Facebook, it appears that his father Barry Hardy is caucasian, while his mother, Cindy Lou, is of Asian descent.
Regardless of Hardy’s exact ethnicity, he’s identifies as a true southern man. During hunting season, the boy from the Bayou takes a hiatus from performing to go out and catch deer, gator, turkey and squirrel. He even refers to his style of music as “swamp pop.” Hardy said, “I grew up around old country, classic rock and swamp pop. I play country, blues, and classic rock and swamp pop now.”
Hardy first auditioned for American Idol last season but didn’t past the Top 50. After being rejected, he only returned to the show this season to play guitar for his buddy’s audition, Ashton Gill. But after the judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan recognized him, they called Hardy out sing a tune himself, and he’s been a front-runner of Season 17 ever since. The musician chose to sing “The Weight” by The Band, and soon sealed himself as the one to beat after singing Band of Heathen’s “Hurricane” as a Top 10 finalist.
While Gill ended up getting eliminated on the show Hardy said, “She didn’t have no hard feelings about it. She was glad she got the experience and stuff. I definitely relate…I told myself the same thing. I was like, ‘just keep going.'” — and he has.
Now, that the finale episode is here, Hardy has only two contestants to beat in order to be championed this season’s American Idol winner, Madison VanDenburg and Alejandro Aranda. If Hardy wins, he will be the third contestant in the show’s history to make a comeback from a previous unsuccessful and win the whole show. The other two singers who’ve made the return journey to stardom include Season 12’s champion Candice Glover, and Season 13 winner, Caleb Johnson.