Life is certainly getting good for Lauren Alaina. Not only did the country singer recently release her first EP, Unlocked, but she also dropped a solo version of “Thicc as Thieves” — a duet she recorded with Lainey Wilson — on Monday, September 18.
That’s not all: The 28-year-old, who recently supported Pentatonix on the band’s world tour, has shows coming up in Connecticut, Arizona and Wyoming, just to name a few. Now, Alaina’s sharing a glimpse at life on the road for Us Weekly’s Backstage Pass.
Before every show, the former American Idol fan favorite — who came in second place during the singing competition series’ 10th season — makes sure to have her dressing room stocked with her favorites so she can fuel up for a big night. “I always get beef jerky and a veggie tray,” Alaina tells Us. “I’m here for all of the snacks.”
Next, she prepares to hit the stage with her band — but first, the group and their crew express themselves with their very own special greeting. “I have a secret handshake with everyone out on the road with me,” Alaina explains. “We say a prayer as a family, do our handshakes and get out there.”
Once she takes the stage, Alaina belts out her biggest hits, including one that holds special meaning: “My favorite song to play live is ‘Road Less Traveled.’ It was my first No. 1 and reminds me of how my life changed every night when people scream it back to me.”
When the show is over, the Dancing With the Stars alum opts for an intimate celebration rather than a big bash. “My ideal afterparty is hanging on the bus with my pups and bestie Molly,” Alaina explains. “The best is when my fiancé, Cameron [Arnold], is there too. We like to keep it pretty low-key.”
“There may or may not be wine involved,” Alaina adds.
Despite playing all over the country, one show in particular sticks out as her favorite: Getting inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in February 2022. “Trisha Yearwood inducted me and sang ‘Walkaway Joe’ with me while Garth Brooks played guitar,” she recalls. “Dolly Parton [also] sent me a video — I will never top it.”
The Grand Ole Opry, where Alaina will be performing this October, November and December, has been the setting of several big events in Alaina’s life. As Us previously reported, she announced she was engaged during her performance at the Nashville venue last November.
“I didn’t think this year could get any better, and yesterday, I got asked into another family,” Alaina gushed at the time. “After he proposed to me, I said, ‘You have to come out on this stage at the Grand Ole Opry!’ Make some noise for my future husband, everybody!”
With reporting by Andrea Simpson