Laine Hardy, Laci Kaye Booth Reunite for Powerful Collaboration on ‘American Idol’ [Watch]
Despite news surrounding his arrest, Laine Hardy still appeared on American Idol’s reunion episode on Monday (May 2). The country singer had recently been arrested for allegedly planting a recording device in his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room.
A pre-taped performance of Hardy singing alongside fellow Idol alum Laci Kaye Booth aired at the top of a 1-hour American Idol special titled The Great Idol Reunion in celebration of long-running show's 20th anniversary. The two artists tackled a collaborative version of “Stop Draggin' My Heart Around,” which Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty originally recorded.
Booth kicked off the duet solo, standing center stage in a delicate, sheer fringe ensemble and white knee-high boots. After the first verse, Hardy walked out from the side-stage looking dapper in a gray suit. Katy Perry’s jaw dropped as Hardy shredded a few licks on electric guitar before belting out his half of the duet.
Afterward, Perry, and fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan gushed over the performance.
“I was slayed when you came on the stage, Laine. I was like, ‘Who is this guy? Was he in A Star Is Born?” Perry said, adding that she never once doubted Booth either. “And, I don’t know any other television show that creates superstars like this one! You guys are legit it!”
“You both sounded amazing. Welcome back to American Idol,” Richie said with a smile.
“Thanks for coming back and wanting to still be in the Idol family, because we love you," Bryan added.
Along with singing in front of the judges, Hardy and Booth also reflected on their prior Idol journey.
“The finale night was the craziest moment of my life,” Hardy, who won Season 17, said of his crowning moment.
“I am feeling so much emotion. I feel so blessed that I got to be a part of this journey,” Booth, a Top 5 finalist on Season 17, added.
After coming off the show, Booth moved to Nashville from her home state of Texas and began working with some of the top musicians and songwriters in the country music industry. She wound up signing a deal with Big Machine Label Group and subsequently released her self-titled debut EP, which includes songs like “Broken Heart Still Beats” with Lady A's Charles Kelley, “Shuffle,” and “Visions.”
Before his legal troubles, Hardy released his debut album, Here’s to Anyone, announced a headlining tour and made his Grand Ole Opry debut.
As previously reported, an investigation was opened after a student at Louisiana State University (LSU) found a listening device inside her dorm room. That student then notified police of the finding and claimed that she believed her ex-boyfriend Hardy was the person responsible for placing the device in her room.
A warrant was issued for Hardy’s arrest by the Louisiana State University Police Department, and on Friday (April 29), Hardy voluntarily turned himself in at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. He is currently being charged with Interception and Disclosure of Wire, Electronic or Oral Communication. If found guilty, he could face a prison sentence of two to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Hardy has previously stated, via Instagram, that he is cooperating with law enforcement.
"Earlier today, I received a warrant due to allegations made against me and have been fully cooperative with the Louisiana State University Police Department," Hardy wrote. "I understand that my career has thrust me into the public spotlight, and I embrace that wholeheartedly as my entire world belongs to my music and my fans.' However, due to the sensitive nature of this allegation, I humbly ask for privacy at this time. I have the utmost respect for the law and will assist in their investigation as needed moving forward."
Along with Hardy and Booth, The Great Idol Reunion special also featured collaborations from Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, Ruben Studdard and Jordin Sparks, Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Willie Spence and Grace Kinstler and Kris Allen and David Cook.
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays on ABC.