Probably the last time most “American Idol” fans saw Laine Hardy, the Louisiana lad who won Season 17, was when he performed the Rascal Flatts tune “Life is a Highway” that was featured in the Pixar animated film “Cars” on May 10 for Disney night on Season 18, a few shows before Just Sam was proclaimed the winner. The show went to great lengths to maintain social distancing since the pandemic by allowing the performers to shelter in place and yet still compete.
Hardy himself did a virtual tour to promote his new single inspired by his Cajun roots, “The Ground I Grew Up On” and other new tunes by doing more than 15 online stops in April and May. But the 19-year-old country singer shared his diagnosis on his Facebook page and Instagram story on Sunday, June 21. He wrote, “This wasn’t what I expected on the first day of summer. My doctor confirmed I have coronavirus, but my symptoms are mild and I’m home recovering in quarantine. Y’all stay safe & healthy.”
His Facebook post with the news earned 23,000 reactions, 6,400 comments and 1,2000 shares.
He spoke to People magazine in April, saying, “It’s been a lot of fun playing my new music, plus some of my favorite covers like Bill Withers and The Weight and Elvis. We’ve had tons of people watching the virtual shows and get to answer questions from everyone tuning in from all over the world.”
Not performing in person while being on the road was a bit of an adjustment. “It’s a great way to connect with my fans. … Right when I first started, it was weird. It’s getting better and better.” Hardy was scheduled to be back out on the road this year, including shows featuring Toby Keith. Let’s hope he gets better and better.