"I have had a lot of "pinch me" moments over the past year," Lauren Alaina tells FOX of the whirlwind that followed her second-place finish on this season's 'American Idol.' "I would have to say singing at the Grand Ole Opry is still something that I am taken aback by. I have dreamed of being on that stage for as long as I can remember."

In six months, the 17-year-old's world has been completely transformed, evolving from a normal high school girl into a full-fledged country star. Her first single, 'Like My Mother Does,' bowed at No. 20 on Billboard's all-genre Hot 100 chart, in addition to reaching No. 9 on the trade publication's Digital Songs chart, with more than 121,000 single downloads sold in its first week. In October, the Georgia native released her debut album, 'Wildflower,' debuting at No. 2 on the Country Albums chart, and selling nearly 70,000 copies in that first week.

Lauren will take a little time off for the holidays, as no matter how successful she gets, family is her top priority.

"Christmas for me is always about spending time with friends and family," Lauren says. "We eat, laugh, eat and eat! Being away so much over the past year has made me even more thankful for the time I do have with them. I want my fans to enjoy the holiday season with the people that mean the most to them."

As Lauren's breakthrough year comes to a close, capped by a live performance on FOX's American Country New Year's Eve Live special, the singer remains focused on her budding career, especially on her opening spot on Jason Aldean's 2012 My Kinda Party tour, a bill that also features Luke Bryan.

"I am really looking forward to being part of this tour," says the 'Georgia Peaches' singer. "I can't wait to perform my album in a live setting and hopefully gain some new listeners in the process."

Until the tour kicks off in January, fans can click here to watch in-studio performances by Lauren.

Watch Lauren Alaina Perform 'Like My Mother Does' at Sessions

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