Richard Lui of MSNBC interviews Laine Hardy, Winner, American Idol 2019
Richard Lui: So Laine, first of all, tell me how it was like to win two and a half weeks ago.
Laine Hardy: Oh man, when I found out that I won, I was so blown away, it was so overwhelming! I’m still processing it but I’m not as off about it as I was in the beginning.
Richard Lui: The moment that you won, what were you thinking in your mind when you heard that announcement? Because you know, every American Idol winner is like—they just—I mean, you’re two and a half weeks in and you’re blowing up.
Laine Hardy: I didn’t know like—when I got the result I didn’t know how to act. I didn’t know whether to be happy, I didn’t know whether to be sad, I was just—there were so many different emotions that I wanted feel at the same time. I just—I was like in middle, neutral I didn’t know what to do.
Richard Lui: Now two and half weeks later, you must be in gear now then, you must be in third gear, like you’re moving fast, I mean you had a very busy two and a half weeks.
Laine Hardy: Yes sir. I’ve been traveling a lot, and doing a lot of meetings and stuff for future things that can benefit my career and stuff like that.
Richard Lui: So you’re eighteen years old, you won American Idol, everybody in the world knows who you are, and when they say, “Oh I know that’s Laine Hardy, he won American Idol," what’s the second thing think they think about who you are, like why you stand out?
Laine Hardy: Well, I try to be myself as much as I can, I’m always trying to be myself, and I mean, I guess that’s what they’re voting for. I mean, I got a great family and stuff and they raised me right so I mean that’s going to stick with me no matter what. I’m just very, I’m very shy—
Richard Lui: You’re shy?
Laine Hardy: Shy? I am! Until like, a crowd or something is there, adrenaline pumps and everything—
Richard Lui: So, BrightFocus Foundation, Cure in Mind, Cure in Sight, a focus on research and solutions related to Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration; that’s a lot of words, but as you know the researchers that are trying to find solutions to these things keep on pluggin’ at it, and it reminds me of you because it was the second season that you won. First season—I mean, talk about how that is very similar.
Laine Hardy: Well, the scientists aren’t giving up on researching all that stuff and I guess that’s kind of how it relates to me a little bit because I didn’t give up, I just kept working towards it and I figured it out, I mean, anything’s possible, anything’s possible, and you just gotta keep working at it.
Richard Lui: So who taught you to keep on keepin’ on? Like, was it your dad, was it your mom, was it grandparents?
Laine Hardy: It was basically like my whole family. Where I’m from, I guess, everybody tells you that, “don’t ever give up,” “always chase your dreams,” and stuff and always pursue what you love to do.
Richard Lui: So, you are setting lots of different sorts of records, one of them is the fact that you happen to be Asian-American and you won American Idol, that hasn’t happened, that’s pretty cool.
Laine Hardy: I know, it’s very cool—
Richard Lui: Talk about that, what did your mom think who is of Korean descent, is that right?
Laine Hardy: Yes sir, she’s half.
Richard Lui: Half Korean, yeah.
Laine Hardy: My mom’s mom which is form Seoul, she don’t really speak English that good, throughout the whole process she didn’t know what was going on, she doesn’t understand it, really. But eventually, she started to understand what was going on and then she was so happy and proud of me, and my mom, she was like, off the walls about it, she was so excited.
Richard Lui: What did she say to you—she was there—what did she say when you won?
Laine Hardy: She was like, “I’m so proud of you baby blah blah," stuff like that you know, and I had to go straight to New York right after that. I got to talk to them for a little bit.
Richard Lui: Alright, so when you graduated from high school, you also had to sing right?
Laine Hardy: Wait, at the graduation?
Richard Lui: Did you sing at the graduation?
Laine Hardy: I didn’t sing at the graduation.
Richard Lui: Ok. You didn’t? They didn’t make you sing?
Laine Hardy: They didn’t make me sing.
Richard Lui: So you just graduated as well.
Laine Hardy: I graduated—
Richard Lui: (To the camera) He’s in high school, can you believe it?
Laine Hardy: I graduated May last year, May eighteenth—wait—that’s right, I graduated May eighteenth of last year.
Richard Lui: Wow, that’s cool. So, if you had to talk to folks out there who are wanting to be a musician like you, and you get asked this a lot, what would you tell them to keep on keepin’ on?
Laine Hardy: f you’re planning on chasing any kind of career or anything, it works fully throughout anybody’s life, you just don’t give up no matter what you do, and no matter how hard it gets you just keep trying as much as you can, and that’ll work out for you in the end. Sometimes it might—everybody fails, you just gotta keep going.
Richard Lui: That is words of wisdom to researchers, to singers, to all those that are pushing their brains. So I want you to play a little bit because I think people out there would love to hear you play, and I’m going to have a friend walk over here—oh by the way this is—
Laine Hardy: This is my dad—
Richard Lui: —His dad Barry, Barry Hardy, and I’m going to—(To Barry Hardy) You stand here in the middle here for a second so my microphones can pick you up. Barry, how do you feel about what he did?
Barry Hardy: Oh, we are, his mom and I, the whole family, we’re just super proud of him, I mean, he is just—the courage that it takes to do all of this is unbelievable.
Richard Lui: So when he was like this tall, what told you that Laine could do this?
Barry Hardy: Well, when he was that tall? Nothing. [Laughs]
When he was that tall we had no idea, you know, we had no idea. He started playing guitar when he was seven and he started on YouTube with a Walmart guitar, and he just started, you know he picked it up so quickly that when we brought him to the guitar teacher he said, “No, wait till he’s eight.” So we did, we had to wait till he was eight and started taking lessons and just took off from there.
Richard Lui: So you’re still his dad, so what are your pieces of advice for him as he now moves to this: really cool stage. Right Laine? This is how stuff happens.
Barry Hardy: Well, I mean, I just want him to stay grounded, you know, I want him to remember where he come from, and you know, just respect everybody.
Richard Lui: Where does he come from?
Barry Hardy: As far as—
Richard Lui: You said he has to remember where he comes from, where does he come from?
Barry Hardy: Okay, we’re Louisiana people, we’re just everyday people. We’re nothing special about us, you know, I just want him to stay who he is, and who we are. We’re family and we love each other.
Richard Lui: Congratulations to you sir, well done, and we’ll let your son play a little bit, you and I will walk off—by the way, I’m Richard Lui with MSNBC, I’m volunteering tonight for this beautiful gala, I got the honor to meet Barry Hardy as well as Laine Hardy, and they clearly have more talent than anybody of us here, so, enjoy—
Laine Hardy: What do I sing?
Richard Lui: Whatever you like!
Laine Hardy: Whatever I like?
Richard Lui: —Then say goodbye at the end.
Laine Hardy: Okay. I’m going have to think of what to do… Let’s see.Is this live? No, it’s not is it?
Richard Lui: It is.
Laine Hardy: Is it? Are you live? Facebook live? Okay everybody. Oh you’re going put that? Okay, I’m just going to a song, okay, let’s see. Does it matter? Go for it?
Richard Lui: Go for it brother.
Laine Hardy: (Starts playing guitar, singing Long Tall Sally by Little Richard)
Gonna tell Aunt Mary 'bout Uncle John
Claims he got the misery but he's havin' a lot of fun
Oh baby, yeah baby, woo
Havin' me some fun tonight
Well, I saw Uncle John with bald-head Sally
He saw Aunt Mary comin' and he ducked back in the alley, oh, baby
Yeah baby, woo, baby
Havin' me some fun tonight, yeah
We gonna have some fun tonight
We gonna have some fun tonight, woo
Have some fun tonight, everything's gonna be all right
Have some fun, havin me some fun tonight
(Cheers and applause)
Thank you so much. Goodbye guys.
This content was last updated on: June 12, 2019