Who is Laine Hardy?
Laine Hardy is an American singer, songwriter, and contestant on the currently airing 17th season of the reality singing competition ‘American Idol’. He had previously contested on the 16th season of the show but was eliminated during the Showcase Round. A Louisiana native, Hardy started singing when he was in his mid-teens. He would often go to the woods with his guitar and practice singing with no one around to hear him. When he heard that ‘American Idol’ was coming to New Orleans to hold an audition for the inaugural season of the ABC revival of the show, he decided to give it a try. While he did get through to the next round, he struggled throughout the competition, primarily due to the fact that he is a naturally shy person. After getting out from the competition, he went back to his hometown and began to work on his music even more earnestly. Since 2016, he has been a member of a group named The Band Hardy, and performing with them at bars, festivals, and fairs has helped him develop his confidence and skills. He returned to the show to play the guitar for one of his friends’ audition and ended up getting the ticket to Hollywood once more.
Rise to Fame
Laine Hardy considers Elvis Presley to be the biggest inspiration for him as a singer. As he was growing up, he was exposed to old country, classic rock, swamp pop, and various other musical genres. This not only helped him acquire a good taste in music but also built the foundation for musical diversity within him. He started playing the guitar when he was seven years old and learned the intricacies of his preferred musical instrument for five years. He began singing much later, in his mid-teens. In 2016, he formed the group The Band Hardy with his brother Kyle, cousin Trent, and a couple of their friends. They have performed at various fairs, festivals, and bars.
He would often drive deep into the woods and sing and play his guitar in utter solitude. When he heard the news that ‘American Idol’ was being revived for another season on ABC and they were coming to New Orleans to hold an audition, he thought this could be his chance. He is self-admittedly a shy person and was nervous about performing in front of celebrities like Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, who were serving as the judges on the revival. His mother spoke to him and helped him calm his nerves.
Hardy gave his audition for the show on October 14, 2017, at Mardi Gras World. He performed Band of Heathens’ ‘Hurricane’ and received positive votes from all three judges. During the Hollywood Round, he made it through the Groups of 10. He was put in a group called The Soul 4's. They sang Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself. Hardy, along with Kaitlann Runnells, survived that subsequent round of eliminations from their group. Hardy was ultimately eliminated in the Showcase Round after performing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘The Ballad of Curtis Loew’.
When he got back to his hometown, he started to put more effort into his music career. In 2018, he put out his debut extended play, ‘In the Bayou’, which is comprised of three songs. He has also released his own line of merchandise.
In October 2018, in the Audition Round of the 17th season, Hardy reappeared to play the guitar for his friend, Ashton Gill, for her audition. After she earned her ticket to Hollywood, the judges implored Hardy to perform for them. He sang The Band’s ‘The Weight’. The judges praised him for his growth since the last time they had seen him and offered him a spot in the Hollywood Round. After initial hesitation, he accepted.
Although Gill was eventually cut off from the competition in the Hollywood Round, Hardy has kept on impressing the judges. He performed the Black Crowes’ ‘She Talks to Angels’ and Bruno Mars’ ‘Grenade’ before advancing to the Showcase Round. He subsequently performed The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’, which got him to the next round. In the Top 20 Round, he sang Sam Cooke’s ‘Bring It on Home to Me’, and ‘The Weight’ (duet with Elle King) to progress to the next round.
Hardy performed Presley’s ‘That’s All Right’ and ‘Hurricane’ in the Top 14 Round, Roger Miller’s ‘Oo-De-Lally’ from ‘Robin Hood’ in the Top 10 Round, and Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and ‘Jackson’ from ‘Walk the Line’ in the Top 8 Round. He is currently among the top six contestants of this season of ‘American Idol’.
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Family & Personal Life
Laine Hardy was born on September 12, 2000, in Livingston, Louisiana to Barry and Cindy Lou Hardy. Despite his exposure to the world of glamour in recent years, his home life is mostly comprised of “woods, swamp, wildlife.” When he is not singing, he is either hunting or fishing. During his first audition, he also stated that he loves to drive around in his truck. Hardy was a student at French Settlement High School in Louisiana.
An avid hunter, Hardy never books any gigs during the hunting season. His preferred quarries are alligators, deer, squirrels, and wild turkeys.