‘American Idol’ Winner Laine Hardy Gives Advice To Future Contestants & Reveals What Life’s Like Now

‘American Idol’ winner Laine Hardy chatted with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY ahead of the new season premiering about how much his life has changed over the past year!

“Well, life’s been just, not overwhelming, but just like a ride,” Laine Hardy, 19, told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY at the American Idol Premiere event at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Monday, February 12. “Exciting and new things come all the time and offers. I wouldn’t think like two years ago I wouldn’t be here right now, you know? It’s pretty crazy. Every day I wake up, I think about it, and it’s just unreal.” The Baton Rouge, Louisiana native’s journey on AI was majorly impressive as he was able to coast through the competition while never ending up in the bottom two. He emerged victorious on May 19, 2019, by beating runners up Alejandro Aranda, 25, and Madison VanDenburg, 18, as the 17th winner of the iconic reality competition program.

The AI judges (Katy Perry, 35, Luke Bryan, 43, Lionel Richie, 70) had a big impact on him during his time on the show that still resonates with him almost one year later. “I think all the judges together, they just gave me so much wisdom and tips and stuff on how to handle stuff and just how to deal with a music career, having a music career and just being put off the show, it just skyrockets you,” he said. “It gives you a great platform, and I’m very thankful for that.” Laine also revealed that he still keeps in touch with the music icons from time to time.

Laine also dove into what the transition for him was like from reality to ACTUAL reality when it came to him entering the music industry full force after his big win. “It was weird. It was like it’s fast, and then before you know it, it’s already over, you know?,” he said. “So it just happened really quick, it was like a jolt kind of.”

American Idol returns tonight, Sunday, February, 16, on ABC, where millions of viewers will tune in to see who will eventually become the next big superstar in music. So what advice does Laine have for the one who succeeds him? “The advice I would have for the next winner would be just stay calm, don’t freak out, just know everything’s going to be okay.”

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