By LB Cantrell at MusicRow
Since her introduction into entertainment as the runner-up on season 10 of American Idol, country singer-songwriter Lauren Alaina has captured the hearts of fans and industry members alike with her powerhouse vocals and genuine and relatable persona. The singer-songwriter has earned three No. 1 hit singles in just under three years with her smash “Road Less Traveled” (2017), the now 6x Platinum “What Ifs” (2018) with Kane Brown, and most recently, “One Beer,” (2020) with Hardy and Devin Dawson.
Her manager, Trisha McClanahan, got her start in the music business in the late ’80s and went on to join Reba McEntire’s Starstruck Entertainment in 1990, where she remained for 20 years. During her tenure at Starstruck, McClanahan worked in concert promotions, sponsorship facilitation, touring, and public relations. She rose to VP of Marketing at Starstruck and helped to develop product extensions for McEntire that included a clothing line, shoe line, bed and bath line, and home goods—as well as promoted books, movie, a TV sitcom, a Broadway show, and multiple albums. In 2010, McClanahan left the Starstruck umbrella to form McClanahan Management.
The dynamic duo, who have been together since 2014, have an impressive list of projects coming up this fall.
Building on the success of her two critically-acclaimed EPs released in 2020, Getting Good EP and Getting Over Him EP, Alaina will release her new album, Sitting Pretty On Top of the World, tomorrow (Sept. 3) This is her third full-length album for Mercury Records Nashville and undoubtedly shows the singer at her most vulnerable and tender—with Alaina co-writing 14 of the 15 tracks alongside award-winning songwriters Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Emily Weisband, David Garcia, Ben Johnson, and more.
“I am the happy, go-lucky, goofy girl, but this album shows a different side of me,” Alaina says of the project. “I wanted to show that there was more to me than just being the girl who can make you laugh.
“The Road Less Traveled album changed my life,” she continues. “It was really an album about becoming a woman. This album is about being a woman. Road Less Traveled really helped set up my brand of loving myself and loving others and Sitting Pretty On Top of the World is all about me continuing to love myself even when others may not. Every girl goes through her breakup album and this is mine.”
In addition to the album, Alaina will star in a Hallmark Channel movie, Roadhouse Romance, premiering on Sept. 11. Starring alongside Tyler Hynes, Alaina plays Lieutenant Callie Jackson who returns home after a military tour to find her late grandfather’s BBQ restaurant is struggling and her high school sweetheart has moved on. Alaina’s character meets Hynes’, a television director visiting town, and he teaches her how to keep looking forward instead of looking back.
“The Hallmark team came into town two or three years ago and we sat down with them at CAA. They had an interest in Lauren and had followed her career. They came to us with this concept and this script, which was so perfect for her,” McClanahan says. “It has a lot of family values in it, she plays someone in the military and her farther was in the military, and it allows her to sing.”
This isn’t Alaina’s first time on the silver screen. In addition to her role on American Idol, she was a contestant on the 28th season of Dancing With The Stars, even making it to the final round. Alaina is also slated to star in an upcoming episode of CBS Television’s Secret Celebrity Renovation.
Although Alaina hasn’t acted much, she says it does come naturally to her. “It feels like another way to entertain and I love it. I like anything that we can do as an extension of the music,” Alaina says. “Music is always the number one priority. My character is not a singer but she likes to sing. We always have to have a little bit of Lauren Alaina in anything that we do.
“Everything boils down to the music for us,” Alaina continues. “It all has to make sense with the music and what our ultimate goal is.”
Alaina will also release her new book, Getting Good At Being You, on Nov. 23. The book, like Alaina’s new album, is soul-baring, with Alaina sharing stories about everything from lost loves to getting a nose ring to battling an eating disorder to grieving a loved one’s death.
“Approachability is part of Lauren’s brand,” McClanahan says. “She is the girl next door and people can relate to that. She has been famous since she was 15 and has continued to allow America in to who her heart is. That’s what the book addresses.”
Alaina adds, “We are in such a time of chaos and hurt. All of the projects that are coming out from us are about healing. A Hallmark movie makes everyone feel good. This book is about overcoming obstacles, my own personal growth in my faith, and my growth in my self-worth. And the album is all about healing.”
With the new album, her new book, and her movie, Alaina is about to have a busy—and likely very prosperous—fall season. “It’s the fall of Lauren Alaina!” McClanahan quips.
Alaina’s album Sitting Pretty On Top of the World is out everywhere Sept. 3. Her Hallmark movie, Roadhouse Romance, premiers on Sept. 11 and her book, Getting Good At Being You, will be available on Nov. 23.