New Lauren Alaina song and album spreads message to be who you are

Georgia native and American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina has released her sophomore full-length album, Road Less Traveled, via Mercury Nashville/19/Interscope Records. A news item posted on notes the album showcases the 22-year-old singer’s evolution as a songwriter, following her No. 1 debut album, Wildflower. She co-wrote all 12 songs on the new album including the title track single, which is currently No. 14 on the Mediabase Country airplay chart and No. 21 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The song co-written with pop star Meghan Trainor and Jesse Frasure is described as a “triumphant anthem” that offers an empowering message of “embracing your own individuality.”

Alaina explains ‘Road Less Traveled’ is intended to encourage people to be who they are and not apologize for it. “I think that’s a hard thing to do because it feels like there’s so much pressure to fit this mold that everyone has like made for us which is ridiculous, because last time I checked if we were all the exact same, it would be pretty boring,” she says in a press statement. “I’m glad that it gets to be a single, because it’s one of my favorites. It’s one that really meant a lot to me to write.”

Alaina admits the song was crafted during a time when she was battling an eating disorder, but kept her co-writers in the dark about her struggle with bulimia being the song’s true inspiration. “I think maybe Meghan kind of knew, because she’s a really good friend of mine, but I don’t think we talked about it in the write,” recalls Alaina. “I just think we all felt this feeling to write this theme, and now I get to share it.” A review by Rolling Stone Country declares Road Less Traveled “reflects an emerging songwriter honing her craft,” and “boasts a polished, mature pop-country sound.”

Road Less Traveled was produced by Michael “busbee” Busbee (Lady Antebellum, Maren Morris, Keith Urban) and features a track list that “shares the complexities of [Alaina’s] life with sophistication and personality.” The young artist adds she grew as a person and as a songwriter during the three years she devoted to completing her second album. “These songs are a true representation of who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going,” she says. “This album has pushed me to accept who I am and be 100 percent honest about it. ‘Road Less Traveled’ is truly me. I can’t wait to share my stories, my music and myself with the world.”

Alaina joins Martina McBride for the CMT Next Women of Country Love Unleashed Tour 2017. The tour kicks off in Feb. 2 in in St. Louis and goes to Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, New York City, and a half-dozen other cities before wrapping up March 19 in Kissimmee/Orlando, Florida. This summer Alaina joins Luke Bryan on his Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day Tour.

Alaina first captured America’s heart in 2011 when she appeared on the tenth season of “American Idol.” After finishing second to winner Scotty McCreedy she released a self-titled five-song EP, followed by her No. 1 full-length debut, Wildflower. The album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 5, making Alaina the youngest female artist to debut that high on the chart since LeAnn Rimes released Blue fifteen years earlier.

Watch Lauren Alaina in the official music video for ‘Road Less Traveled,’ the title track from the singer’s second studio album.

As A Matter of Fact…

* Lauren Alaina Kristine Suddeth was born November 8, 1994, in Chattanooga, Tenn., and grew up in Rossville, Georgia. Her musical household includes a mother and older brother who sing, and a multi-instrumentalist father.

* Her parents played country and rock music around the house, and Alaina found she was drawn to a mix of music by Shania Twain, Aerosmith, and the Dixie Chicks. She started singing karaoke in public as young as age three, and her parents were soon receiving invitations to have her sing at various events.

* Alaina wrote her first song at age nine, penning a tune called ‘She’s A Miracle’ after her aunt was in a car accident. She continued to sing in church, at restaurants, and in area talent competitions, winning the Southern Stars Pageant and performing at the annual Chattanooga Riverbend Festival.

* In 2004, Alaina beat out more than 1,500 others to win the American Model and Talent Competition, and later joined the Georgia Country Gospel Music Association’s children’s group that performed around the state.

* As a teenager, regular trips to Nashville to sing in the bars along Broadway Street helped Alaina develop her stage presence and ability to feed off of a crowd. She also began working with local producers, leading up to the American Idol auditions held in Music City.

* Alaina stars in a film version of ‘Road Less Traveled,’ based on her single of the same name. The singer’s first movie role centers on the song’s main character, who is struggling with balancing her upcoming wedding with her songwriting career in Los Angeles. She finds herself searching for answers back in her Tennessee hometown.

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