BILLINGS — One Billings West High graduate is making it big on stage as the opening act for artists like Snoop Dogg and the Ying Yang Twins, but back home is where you can find his biggest fan.
“I'm a mother and I'm a fan of all my kids,” says Tanya Martin, Preston Wayne’s mom. “I will always be his number one fan.”
When Preston Wayne walked the red carpet for his first movie premier in April 2023, his mom was right by his side.
“My mamma, my mamma, she’s my biggest support,” says Wayne. “I love her so much.”
“Actually, I made him promise that I got to go to the first red carpet event that he had,’ said Martin. “That was amazing.”
The movie, available on Peacock, is called "Praise This", and 26-year-old Wayne had a big role.
“I did all the music for it, and I even landed an acting role in it as well,” says Wayne. “That’s like my most proud moment on TV.”
From the big screen to the big stage, Wayne has made a name for himself. He spent this summer on tour with Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and the Ying Yang twins.
“Preston, he’s an example of if you believe it and you want it, you can have it,” says Martin.
“Just a couple shows in, people started asking questions like the artists themselves, Snoop and Wiz and all them. Who’s that guy going out on stage? I heard that Snoop was backstage singing one of my songs and there were so many crazy moments,” says Wayne.
Crazy moments following a humble start to his career when Wayne stocked shelves at Macy’s in Los Angeles, waiting for his big break, his mom sending him sandwich money to get by. Growing up in Billings, Preston was best known not for his music, but for his baseball talents at West High, although his parents say they always knew music was his true passion.
“Me and his dad were driving when he was about three years old, and we both kind of turned to each other and said, did you hear that? And he’s like, yeah I heard that too. Preston was harmonizing,” says Martin.
“Something in me told me that I wanted to do music when I was like 16 years old,” says Wayne. “Partly because my dad was a DJ. I was just obsessed with music and said, let me try and make this my life.”
That’s exactly what Preston has done. It’s been a pitch-perfect life ever since, landing Wayne one big gig after the next, even a dressing room rider list where he requested pre-show sandwiches.