Laine Hardy Parts Ways With Record Label: ‘I Will Forever Be Grateful’
American Idol Season 17 winner Laine Hardy has parted ways with his record label, Disney Music Group, as well as 19 Entertainment. The "Memorize You" singer shared the news on Thursday (Oct. 20), and says he's looking forward to taking his career "in a new direction."
"I was just 17 years old when I first tried out for American Idol, and at the time, I couldn't have ever imagined where I was headed," he writes, looking back on his first Idol audition in 2018. "Since then, I've been able to tour across America, play for our troops in Asia, and make new fans in Europe. I had to grow up quickly and I am still learning more about myself every day."
He continues, confirming his split from Disney Music Group and 19 Entertainment and sharing his hope for the future:
"The teams at 19 Entertainment and Disney Music Group have given me so much support and guidance and I will forever be grateful. And now it's time for me to take my career in a new direction and I am figuring that out. Stay tuned for what's coming next. Love y'all."
Hardy first appeared on American Idol in Season 16. He made it to the Top 50 before being cut, and in Season 17, he returned to the audition stage to play backup guitar for his friend Ashton Gill. After judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie recognize him, however, he was encouraged to audition a second time. He ended up taking home the trophy at the end of the season.
Following his first American Idol stint, Hardy released an EP called In the Bayou in 2018. After his win, he released his debut album, Here's to Anyone, with Buena Vista Records (under Disney Music Group) and 19 Entertainment. Notable singles from that project included "Ground I Grew Up On," "Let There Be Country" and "Other LA."
Hardy ran into controversy in the spring of 2022 when he received an arrest warrant from the Louisiana State University Police Department for allegedly placing a recording device in a female's dormitory room. The singer wrote at the time that he was "fully cooperative" with the police investigation.
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