With Major Record Deal, Music Exec Says ‘Idol’ Alum is the Next Carrie Underwood

Lauren Alaina and Carrie Underwood, 2012

Getty Country artists Lauren Alaina and Carrie Underwood sign autographs at a celebrity softball tournament in 2012.

Lauren Alaina has a major new record deal, with a label that wants to make her a megastar. On the morning of July 25, the “American Idol” alum woke up the country music world with news that she’d signed with Big Loud Records, whose CEO — Seth England — said she’s got what it takes to have a career as one of the most famous “Idol” alumni.

“Lauren Alaina deserves to be, in my opinion, on the same pedestal as Carrie Underwood, and it’s our job to help her find that mode,” England told Billboard Magazine.

Alaina first performed with Underwood in 2011, on the Season 10 finale of “American Idol” in which she was named runner-up to Scotty McCreery, who’s still a dear friend. After the show, she told reporters that Underwood had been her personal idol ever since she’d won “Idol” five years prior. The two have performed together many times since, including at the Grand Ole Opry in 2016. At the time, Alaina told Sounds Like Nashville that she looked up to Underwood in every way.

“I just think she’s done a really great job overall as far as she treats everybody kindly and she’s beautiful and doesn’t know it,” she said. “She’s like, such an amazing singer, and really takes care of herself, her voice, and her body. I just think she’s just really inspiring. I look up to her in that way because she’s worked hard for a really long time and she’s proof that working hard pays off. I adore her. I look up to her in every way pretty much.”


Signing with Big Loud Records is Alaina’s Dream Come True

On July 25, Alaina — who adds a silly pun to every Instagram post she writes — uploaded a photo of her posing with executives at Big Loud Records. “Signed a very BIG and LOUD record deal,” she wrote. “Thank you @bigloud for being willing and LABEL to make music with me. Let’s goooooo!!!”

Alaina had been with Mercury/Universal Music Group Nashville, having signed with the label right after her run on “American Idol.” In April 2022, CMT reported that Alaina “shocked country music fans and industry watchers” by announcing via social media that she was leaving the record label she’d been with since she was 16.

Now 27, the singer told Billboard that after parting with Mercury, she met with several record companies, but Big Loud was her “dream label.” She revealed, “We had a creative conversation about songs that I love that other people have recorded and songs that I loved of mine and kind of what we wanted the sound to be.”

After a solid career with three solo #1 singles and multiple hit duets, England said Alaina, who was inducted into Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in February 2022, is ready for the next level of her career. “We feel like Lauren is absolutely one of the best vocalists, male or female, in this town,” England told Billboard. “Certainly she’s had success, but we humbly think she has barely scratched the surface of what we think we can do together.”


Alaina Leaned On Famous Friends For Career Advice

Lauren Alaina and Chris Lane

GettyCountry singers Lauren Alaina and Chris Lane performing at CMT Fest in June 2022.

Before signing with Big Loud Records, Alaina got some good advice and encouragement from some of her most famous friends, including Big Loud artist Chris Lane, her current duet partner on “Dancin’ in the Moonlight.”

“He goes, ‘You have to. They will kill it for you,’” she said of their conversation.

She also spoke to other artists on the Red Loud label, including Morgan Wallen and HARDY. “Morgan said something really sweet,” she told Billboard. “He said, ‘You have a really big place in this format and I think they’re gonna help you claim it.’”

Alaina can’t wait to get started making music with Big Loud, but she also hopes the next decade of her career includes more acting (she appeared the 2021 Hallmark Channel movie Roadhouse Romance) and writing.

“I want to do as much as I can do in the next 10 years,” she told Billboard. “And I’d probably like to also get married and have some kids. So I want to be able to balance all of that in the next 10 years. I think it’s gonna be the biggest 10-year span of my life so far.”

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