Laine Hardy has just been crowned the 2019 winner of American Idol, but it hasn't been that many years since he was playing local gigs in his native Louisiana and just learning his craft. Click on the video above to see Hardy before he was famous.

The Louisiana native was just 16 years old when the video above was shot at a tiny local venue where his band, called the Band Hardy, was performing. He took the mic to offer up a cover "White Lightning" from the Cadillac Three that's raw, but still hints at the kind of polished grit that he would display over the course of a winning season on American Idol.

Hardy teamed with his cousins and his brother in the Band Hardy, and the group's YouTube channel offers a wide selection of performances.

The 18-year-old singer dominated the 2019 season of American Idol with standout performances, including a cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me" and Elvis Presley's "That's All Right."

Hardy first appeared on Idol in 2018, but he didn't last long, washing out just a few weeks in. Hardy did not want to audition in 2019, but when he accompanied a friend on guitar during her audition, the judges urged him to audition again, and he won a spot.

He was named the 2019 winner of American Idol on May 19, defeating Madison VanDenburg and Alejandro Aranda in the finale with performances of Hank Williams' "Jambalaya" and Mark Broussard's "Home." Hardy has since released a single called "Flame" and signed a major record deal with Hollywood Records.

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