Remember Laine Hardy, the dreamy bayou lad who won ‘American Idol’ last year? He’s about to re-enter our lives!

Have you missed partying with a Hardy this season on “American Idol”? It seemed like judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan spent more time looking for the next Alejandro Aranda, the singer-songwriter who was the runner-up on Season 17 than promoting Laine Hardy, the actual winner. In fact, Alejandro even made an appearance on the last night of Hollywood week to inspire the remaining contestants before they made their way through the solo round. Laine, however, has been MIA so far.

On the season premiere back in mid-February, host Ryan Seacrest mentioned country heart-throb Laine, who staged an amazing comeback after previously being eliminated from the show the year before by winning it all. In his voiceover, Ryan mentioned, “This bayou boy became the latest of ‘Idol’s’ rich legacy of stars with a career that has taken off.” But when it came to Alejandro, he gushed that “his audition was a once in a lifetime moment. It set a course of an irreversible trajectory.” They then showed clips of Alejandro taking his show on the road in the guise of Scarypoolparty and his performance of his original song, “Millennial Love” on Jimmy Kimmel‘s show.

Well, the moment has finally arrived to celebrate the actual guy that America voted for. Laine, now 19, is about to release two brand new songs, “Ground I Grew Up On” and “Let There Be Country,” which be available on all streaming platforms on Friday, April 10. These biographical songs written by others reflect Laine’s deep connection to his Louisiana roots while growing up on the bayou.

Laine also shared his excitement about finally releasing new music for his fans, saying in a press release, “I hope these songs give you an idea of where I grew up on the bayou, running through the fields with my cousins and fishing on Lake Maurepas. Louisiana is always going to be in my heart, and I want to just keep making Louisianans proud,” says Laine.  “My family is all staying home together, including my cousin who is also my drummer.  Makes sense to make some music while we’re at it.  Really miss being on the road and can’t wait to share these new songs online.”

Because of the coronavirus epidemic, Laine will be performing live during his “Ground I Grew Up On Virtual Tour” that kicks off on Friday. The guitar-wielding lad will show off his new music and chat with fans during each of the 15 virtual tour stops via Facebook Live. Stops include “Live With Kelly & Ryan” on April 15, “American Idol” on April 19 and Radio Disney Country on April 26. Below is a snippet of music as well as a preview of Laine’s new music video that he posted on Twitter.

At the moment, it seems that Laine might be optimistically planning to physically hit the road in mid-May. But what is the case these days, it would best to not assume all these dates will happen. For more info, go to lainehardymusic.com.

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