Lainey Wilson's dad won't join her on the CMA Awards red carpet this year, but that doesn't mean he won't be there.

"My daddy will be the only real cowboy in the crowd," she tells Taste of Country.

  • Brian Wilson joined his daughter Lainey on the red carpet at the CMA Awards in 2022.
  • Earlier that year, he spent two months in the hospital with a fungal infection that "completely took out the left side of his face."
  • He suffered a stroke and underwent nine surgeries on his way to recovery.

Related: Lainey Wilson Wins Two Early CMA Awards

Both of Wilson's parents will be in the crowd to watch her win any of the nine awards she's nominated for.

"My mama she's a very emotional person," Wilson says, "but to tell you the truth, she'll probably be up there hooting and hollering and then cry afterwards."

The "Watermelon Moonshine" singer has talked before about how her father is a man of very few words, and during a CMA Awards Radio Row conversation she admitted she'd only seen him cry once. Spoiler alert: It wasn't when he found out his daughter is the leader for most 2023 CMA nods and one of five Entertainer of the Year nominees.

"He's like, 'Well, ain't that some s--t.' I'm like, 'Yeah, you're right it is,'" Wilson says.

Having her parents in the crowd means a lot to her, but knowing they're proud of her — win or lose — matters more. That was the conversation her mother had with her in the days leading up to the Nov. 8 ABC broadcast.

"That's what it's about," she says of making mom and dad proud. "These awards are nice and fancy — and it's a big huge stepping stone — but they're just proud of who I am, and I'll take that."

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2023 CMA Awards Nominations Snubs, Ranked

The nine snubs found on this reaction to Thursday's (Sept. 7) 2023 CMA Awards nominations announcement range from "Drat!" to "Aww, come on!" to "You've gotta be freaking kidding!"

Typically we include snubs and surprises, but there was really only one CMA nomination surprise: Lainey Wilson for Entertainer of the Year. Her nine nominations surely exceed her wildest dreams for the November 8 ABC broadcast. This is her year!

As for the group listed below? Well some (we see you, Kane Brown) are used to it, while others got a goose egg with no warning. The last three snubs on this ranked list are particularly egregious. Each one highlights a space where logic should live, but does not.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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