Laine Hardy

The Livingston, Louisiana-born Laine impressed fans and judges of “American Idol” alike with his honey-toned swampy bayou rock performances throughout the season.  Fans came up with clever catch-phrases like, “Party With A Hardy,” “Laine Will Reign,” and “I’m On The Laine Train” in support of their Idol. The win marks an incredible comeback story for Hardy. Last season, he was eliminated after reaching the Top 50. This season, he came to an audition as a guitar player to accompany his friend who auditioned in front of the “American Idol” judges. The judges remembered Laine, encouraged him to audition again, and handed him a Golden Ticket to Hollywood on the spot.

Laine performed his new single, the Ester Dean-penned “Flame,” on the “American Idol” finale Sunday night, surrounded by his fellow contestants, with much fanfare. The song reached #1 on the iTunes Rock Chart and #2 overall. Throughout the season, Hardy charmed viewers, and showed his versatility with covers  by artists ranging from Queen, Hank Williams, Sam Cooke and Elton John, to The Beatles, Black Crowes, The Band, Mark Broussard and Chuck Berry. Laine’s keen sense of style prompted Idol Judge Lionel Richie to wonder if Hardy had stolen his clothes.

Hardy showed America a more humble side of himself upon returning to Louisiana for his homecoming parade and concert, during which the Governor declared May 14th “Laine Hardy Day.” He bonded with his brother, fishing and boating on the river, and with his extended family over a home-cooked meal. After an emotionally-charged day, Laine broke down in tears of joy, surrounded by his supportive family.

Next on Hardy’s list? He’ll return home to see his family, and then begin recording his debut album. All aboard the Laine Train!

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