Hearing “no” can be a detrimental experience. Musician Lauren Daigle knows firsthand. She heard those words more than once as a contestant on American Idol in 2010 and 2012. But a “no” can also be empowering. Instead of letting the outcome dictate her career, Daigle used it to her advantage.
She secured a record deal in 2013, less than a year after her last Idol performance. Earlier this year, she returned to the show as a mentor to the other contestants—two albums and two Grammys later.
Coincidentally, she mentored the burgeoning performers in the same season that saw another Louisiana native, Laine Hardy, take the top prize (read his story on page 52).
Daigle was born and raised in Lafayette, where she was surrounded by the zydeco, blues and Cajun music she now incorporates into her work. She was just 15 when cytomegalovirus, an autoimmune deficiency, kept her homebound for nearly two years. During that time of isolation, Daigle learned how to sing, taking voice lessons as a remedy to chronic fatigue and depression. As she reached the other side of that tunnel, she found her own sound and developed a closer relationship with her faith. Daigle’s music now clearly reflects her Christian values.
Daigle moved to Baton Rouge and attended LSU before leaving to follow her musical aspirations in Nashville. Her debut album, 2015’s How Can It Be, topped the Billboard Christian Albums Chart and even reached No. 16 on the Top Albums Chart for all genres.
Daigle released her sophomore album Look Up Child in 2018, vowing that every musical experience—from the record itself to the world tour—would radiate with love, deep-rooted joy and hope like that of a child.
She began the tour supporting that album last fall, selling out all 39 shows. Earlier this year, she announced an extension to the tour, taking her across the pond and back—including a set at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and two nights at Lafayette’s Heymann Performing Arts Center in July.
Daigle will head off to Europe again in November for dates in Spain, France and the United Kingdom. But not before stopping in Baton Rouge at the Raising Cane’s River Center this month for what is sure to be a packed homecoming performance.
See the show
Lauren Daigle returns to Baton Rouge Oct. 11, 7 p.m., for the Look Up Child tour at Raising Cane’s River Center. raisingcanesrivercenter.com
This article was originally published in the October 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.