In a new interview, “American Idol” runner-up and “Dancing With the Stars” finalist Lauren Alaina opened up to ABC News for the Country Music Awards special “Backstage Pass: Countdown to the CMA Awards,” detailing her battle with depression throughout the pandemic and how her new music reflects that and helped her cope with what she was going through.
Lauren Alaina Said Her New Album’s Title Track Reflects Her ‘Hitting Rock Bottom’
The singer, who finished 2nd on “American Idol” season 10, said that her third studio album, “Sitting Pretty On Top of the World,” which came out in September, is the “most emotional record” she has ever made because it reflects her true feelings and struggles that people might not ever guess she is going through.
“I titled the album ‘Sittin Pretty On Top of the World’ because of [the title track]. I wrote it about my struggles with depression, which I think a lot of people who meet me would be surprised to know that I struggle with depression because I’m always the most outgoing person in the room. Nine times out of 10 I’m smiling, cracking jokes, I have this huge personality,” Lauren said, but she added, “I also have really big emotions. All of them are really big. So the happy ones are really happy and the really sad ones are sometimes really sad.”
The “Dancing With the Stars” finalist, who finished in 4th place in season 28 alongside her partner Gleb Savchenko, went on to say that one day in the middle of the intense lockdown most of the country experienced during the pandemic, she was out for a walk and “the weight of everything happening” hit her and it was overwhelming.
“It has been such a traumatic time for everyone, no matter what your life looks like. None of us were prepared to live in this pandemic,” said Lauren, adding, “I’m one of the fortunate ones. My life was pretty privileged, but the fact is, we all have real feelings, so I felt like personally, I was hitting rock bottom, and professionally, I was sitting pretty on top of the world and the hook of that song is ‘hitting rock bottom, sitting pretty on top of the world.'”
Lauren Hopes Everyone Comes Out of the Pandemic ‘Stronger’ Than Ever
During the special, Lauren welcomed ABC News into her “music room,” i.e. the mini-studio she built during the pandemic because she couldn’t record outside of her home.
“I think I wrote 10 of the 15 songs on Zoom sitting in this room on my computer screen with the other songwriters. It was such an emotionally supercharged time that you can really feel that in the music,” said Lauren, adding, “It’s the most emotional record I’ve ever made. It’s a record about resilience and loving yourself and overcoming and hope for the future and it’s about healing, and I think the world really needs healing.”
She also said that back in June, she performed her first concert since the pandemic started and she became so emotional to be back on stage again that she could barely sing.
“I cried the entire first song. I got like four words out,” said Lauren. “It was overwhelming because [performing] is a huge part of who I am … and then suddenly it went away, and there was no end in sight, nobody knew when we were going to get to the other side of it.”
She also said that hopefully, everyone can come back “stronger” from this entire experience, saying, “Anytime we get to do something [now], it is a celebration. I think we all got a huge wake-up call. We were put in time out, and hopefully, we can come back stronger.”
This is not Lauren’s first time being candid with her fans about her struggles. She has previously opened up about having an eating disorder during her time on “American Idol” and also conquering her fear of performing the National Anthem when she sang at one of the 2021 World Series games for her hometown team, the Atlanta Braves.
Lauren’s book, “Getting Good at Being You: Learning to Love Who God Made You to Be” is being released November 30, 2021.
“American Idol” returns in the spring of 2022 on ABC. “Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31 but if it returns, it should debut in September 2022.