Laine Hardy

Livingston Parish native and American Idol winner Laine Hardy performs during PBS’ annual “A Capitol Fourth” celebration in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, July 4, 2019.

Laine Hardy is heading to the race track… sort of.

Hardy, the 2019 American Idol from Livingston Parish, will perform the national anthem prior to the running of the NASCAR Cup Series Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 9.

The race is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. locally and be televised nationally on NBCSN. Due to restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, Hardy’s performance of the national anthem will be virtual.

“I can’t believe I’m getting to sing the National anthem before a NASCAR race,” Hardy said in a statement through Monarch Publicity. “Although I can’t be there in person during this time, I’m definitely looking forward to future races and watching the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. It’s going to be a great race!”

This marks the second time Hardy, a 2018 graduate of French Settlement High, will perform the national anthem at a major sporting event, following his rendition in the New Orleans Superdome prior to the Saints-Vikings NFL playoff game in January.

“We are excited to have Laine Hardy perform the National Anthem as part of our historic Cup Series doubleheader weekend,” said Michigan International Speedway President Rick Brenner. “Laine’s distinct sound is sure to resonate both with our fans and music enthusiasts.”

Hardy, who recently announced his recovery from the novel coronavirus, will continue the second leg of his virtual tour with an online show on Thursday, Aug. 6. Tickets are available at his website, www.lainehardymusic.com.

The tour, which started in April, is being held to celebrate the release of Hardy’s first original music since winning American Idol two seasons ago. So far, the 19-year-old singer has released “Ground I Grew Up On,” “Let There Be Country,” and most recently “Tiny Town,” which are all influenced by Hardy’s upbringing on the bayou.

The three singles were produced by Michael Knox — who has worked with Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and Eric Church — and all include acoustic tracks. Hardy’s music is available on all streaming platforms via Buena Vista Records/Industrial Media’s 19 Recordings.

The first part of Hardy’s virtual tour, held in April and May, included 16 stops and generated more than 2 million views on social media, according to a spokesperson for Monarch Publicity. The music video for “Ground I Grew Up On” has received another 1 million views, while an animated lyric video for “Let There Be Country” has been seen by thousands.

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