Lainey Wilson can’t wait to walk the 2022 CMAs red carpet with her dad: “A win in itself”

Lainey Wilson is pulling quadruple duty at the 2022 CMAs. She will perform, present and be a part of an Alan Jackson tribute — oh, and not only is she a nominee, but she’s the most-nominated artist of the whole show this year.

It’s been a week of pinch-me moments, especially when she met AJ himself ahead of singing in his honor.

“His storytelling is like none other, and it’s an honor to be able to honor him. I mean, he’s a legend,” Lainey says. “…And I got to meet him and be around him for a few minutes the other night. And it was like, ‘I’m sitting here talking to Alan Jackson! What is life?!’”

But the moment that Lainey is looking forward to the most at the 2022 CMAs doesn’t have anything to do with winning trophies or stepping onstage for glitzy performances: She can’t wait to walk the red carpet with her dad.

This moment is a long time coming, as Lainey’s dad spent multiple months in the hospital and underwent numerous surgeries during a life-threatening series of health challenges this summer. He ultimately had to have an eye removed in order to save his life, but he’s on the mend now — and ready to head to Nashville to support his country star daughter.

“He is headed here right now from Louisiana and he is gonna walk the carpet with me. It’s going to be a win in itself right there,” she says. “He’s going to be looking like a pirate cowboy. He’s going to wear his eyepatch. Yeah, he’s excited.”

The 2022 CMA Awards — and pre-show red-carpet coverage — will air on Wednesday night on ABC. The show broadcasts live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

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