These country sensations who've received Academy of Country Music Awards nominations have incredible partners with whom they can celebrate. In honor of the 2020 ACM Awards on Sept. 16, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at the significant others of this year's nominees! Starting us off is former professional hockey player Mike Fisher, who's married to "Cry Pretty" singer Carrie Underwood. The couple, who met backstage at one of Carrie's concerts in '08, tied the knot in Greensboro, Georgia, in July 2010. They share two children — Isaiah and Jacob. Carrie is up for entertainer of the year and female artist of the year. Keep reading to meet more country music partners…
Could they be any more adorable? Thomas Rhett, who's among the most nominated performers at the 2020 ACM Awards, met now-wife Lauren Akins when they were in the first grade! After briefly dating as teens, the couple reunited as young adults and married in October 2012. They have three daughters — Willa Gray (whom they adopted from Uganda), Ada James and Lennon Love, who was born in February 2020. In August 2020, Lauren — who worked as a missionary nurse for years — released the bestselling memoir "Live In Love," in which she chronicles the ups and downs of their marriage. This year, her "Die A Happy Man" hitmaker husband earned nods for entertainer of the year, male artist of the year, album of the year and video of the year.
Another country performer who earned several nominations ahead of this year's ACM Awards? Grammy winner Maren Morris! The "Girl" singer-songwriter met fellow country music singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd in 2013 after they were serendipitously paired together for a studio co-writing session in Nashville. The rest, as they say, is history! Maren and Ryan tied the knot on March 24, 2018, and almost two years to the day later welcomed their first child together, son Hayes Andrew. This year, Maren is up for female artist of the year, album of the year and music event of the year.
What we love most about Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman's relationship? Just how supportive they are of each other's careers. The New Zealand-born, Australia-raised singer-songwriter first met his Oscar-winning leading lady in January 2005 and they married in June 2006. They've since welcomed two daughters: Sunday Rose in 2008 and Faith Margaret in 2010. Keith, who's set to host this year's ACM Awards, is nominated for male artist of the year.
Country icon Luke Bryan met wife Caroline Boyer in 1998 at Georgia Southern University when they were both attending college. "I had to drink a lot before I could go talk to her, but I did," the "Drunk On You" hitmaker told Wide Open Country. "It was one of those situations for me, it was like, 'Who is that and how do I go talk to her?'" The couple married in December 2006 and have since welcomed two sons: Thomas Boyer in 2008 and Tatum Christopher in 2010. At this year's ACM Awards, the record-breaking musician is up for entertainer of the year.
Country sensation Miranda Lambert, who's up for female artist of the year, album of the year and music event of the year, tied the knot with then-NYPD officer Brendan McLoughlin in January 2019 in Tennessee less than three months after meeting him while she was in the Big Apple for work. He's since retired from the force and now works on her security team.
Everyone knows Blake Shelton's leading lady: pop star and designer Gwen Stefani! Blake and Gwen, who in the summer of 2020 moved into their new $13.2 million mansion in Los Angeles, began dating in 2015 after working together as coaches on NBC's "The Voice." The hitmakers bonded in the wake of devastating divorces — Blake from country star Miranda Lambert and Gwen from Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale. "That's kind of how our friendship and bond started, that day," Blake told Billboard. "It went from that, to checking in on each other once a week through email — 'This happened to me, what happened to you?' — to maybe three times a week, then every day, to, 'Hey, here's my phone number if you ever want to text.'" The country crooner added, "Next thing I know, I wake up and she's all I care about, and I'm wondering if she feels the same about me." At the 2020 ACM Awards, Blake is nominated for single of the year, song of the year, video of the year and music event of the year.
Kelsea Ballerini, who's up for female artist of the year, began dating her husband, Australian country singer Morgan Evans, in March 2016. "We hosted this award show together which is hilarious and afterwards he was like, 'Come to my dressing room, let's take a shot of tequila,'" Kelsea told Ryan Seacrest in 2020. "And so we did — hung out and got married… You can like, watch it back and see us hosting together and I'm like, all googly-eyed," she laughed. "I was super nervous and thought he was super cute so I was like, awkward flirting while trying to read a teleprompter." They got engaged on Christmas Day that same year and tied the knot in December 2017 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay are also nominated at this year's ACM Awards! And as usual, they'll be celebrating with their wives. Dan Smyers (middle left) married fellow vegetarian Abby Law, whom he met at an animal rescue center in 2013, in May 2017. They have four rescue dogs. As for Shay Mooney? He married former Miss Arkansas Hannah Billingsley in October 2017 not long after they welcomed their first child, son Asher James. They welcomed a second son, Ames Alexander, in February 2020. This year, Dan + Shay are up for duo of the year as well as song of the year, video of the year and music event of the year (with Justin Bieber) for the hit track "10,000 Hours."
Brandi Carlile married Catherine Shepherd in September 2012 in Boston. "We met through our activism and interest in charity," Brandi — whose wife used to head up music legend Paul McCartney's charity work — told Rolling Stone in 2019. "We communicated for about a year, and the entire time I thought I was talking to somebody who was 65. It was an interesting way to fall in love." They've since welcomed daughters Evangeline and Elijah. This year, Brandi's band The Highwomen — which is comprised of Brandi, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires — earned an ACM Award nod for group of the year!
Remember "American Idol" contestant Gabby Barrett from the show's 16th season? The Pennsylvania-born singer-songwriter married fellow "Idol" contestant Cade Foehner in October 2019. Their love story doesn't end there: In August 2020, the couple announced that they're expecting their first child together, a daughter. "And then there were three… Psalm 127:3 ✨👶🏼🎀 #babyfoehner," Gabby wrote on Instagram. Gabby's up for best new female artist of the year at the 2020 ACM Awards.
Grammy Award-winning country star Chris Stapleton met singer-songwriter wife Morgane Stapleton when they were both working at publishing houses in 2003. They married four years later in October 2007 and now, Morgane often sings backup for her hubby! Together, they share five children, with their youngest, a son, arriving in 2019. The "Tennessee Whiskey" hitmaker is up for male artist of the year.
Brian Kelley (left) and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line are married men. Tyler wed Hayley Stommel in 2015 after two years of dating; together they share daughter Olivia Rose and son Luca Reed. Brian tied the knot with Brittney Marie Cole in 2013. "The first day we hung out, we just knew that it was something real," Brian told People magazine. "I'd never wanted to make someone my wife before. I always want her by my side."
"You Make It Look So Easy" singer-songwriter Eric Church wed music publisher Katherine Blasingame in January 2008. In 2011, the couple welcomed their first son, Boone McCoy, who was the inspiration for Eric's track "Three Year Old." Four years later, their second son, Tennessee Hawkins, was born. Eric earned two ACM Awards nominations: entertainer of the year and song of the year for "Some of It."
Jordan Davis, who earned a 2020 ACM Award nomination for best new male artist of the year, married Kristen O'Connor in March 2017. They fell for one another in an unexpected place: A Holiday Inn Express in Houma, Louisiana, where they met while in town for old college friends' separate weddings. They welcomed their first child, daughter Eloise Larkin, in November 2019.
All the members of Lady A are off the market! Co-lead singer Hillary Scott (middle) tied the knot with drummer Chris Tyrrell in 2012. She reconnected with him after first meeting him years earlier in college. Together, they share daughters Eisele Kaye, Betsy Mack and Emory JoAnn. Singer Charles Kelly married publicist Cassie McConnell in 2009; they share son Ward Charles. The final member of the trio, Dave Haywood, said "I do" to music exec Kelli Cashiola, who was vice president of marketing and brand management for Warner Music Nashville, in 2012. They've since welcomed two children — son Cash Van in 2014 and daughter Lillie Renee in 2017. Lady A is up for two ACM Awards this year: group of the year and single of the year for "What If I Never Get Over You."
Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town married bandmate Jimi Westbrook in 2006! The musical couple share son Elijah Dylan, who was born in 2010. Karen found love with Jimi following the tragic passing of her first husband. "Jimi is my soulmate," Karen told Us Weekly. "I knew there was a deep connection there but once you decide to be together, you find even more, and then to have a child together is a beautiful, beautiful thing for us to share and a dream come true." Little Big Town is up for group of the year and video of the year for "Sugar Coat."
"Somewhere on a Beach" hitmaker Dierks Bentley, who earned a nod for male artist of the year, met wife Cassidy Black in eighth grade in their home state of Arizona. They split after on-and-off dating and reconnected in Las Vegas when he was on tour. That was it for Dierks: They got engaged in December 2005 and eloped three days later. They share three children — daughters Evelyn Day and Jordan Catherine and son Knox.
"With You I Am" singer-songwriter Cody Johnson is a married man! The hitmaker shares daughters Clara Mae and Cori with wife Brandi. "When they are out on the road with me, we sometimes try to keep the kids up late to see Dad play, because they need to know what I do for a living," Cody told Taste of Country of having his family tour with him. "It's not that I want them to know what I do or that I think I'm a star or anything like that, but I want those girls to know that I am a good man to their mama and y'all because I am going out there and providing. This is what a man should do. A man should go to work." This year, Cody is nominated for new male artist of the year.
Maddie Marlow of Maddie & Tae said "I do" to her longtime sweetheart, Jonah Font — they started dating in high school — in 2019. At this year's ACM Awards, Maddie and Tae Dye are up for duo of the year.
Tae Dye of Maddie & Tae is also a married woman! The Oklahoma-born singer married songwriter Josh Kerr in 2020. Tae and Maddie Marlow have an ACM nomination for duo of the year.
Amanda Shires of The Highwomen married musician Jason Isbell in 2013. Two years later in 2015, they welcomed daughter Mercy Rose. Along with fellow members Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Maren Morris, Amanda is up for group of the year.
Lee Brice, who's up for single of the year at the 2020 ACM Awards, wed longtime girlfriend Sara Reeveley in April 2013. Together, the couple share three children: sons Takoda and Ryker Mobley and daughter Truly Nanette.
Luke Combs, who's up for entertainer of the year, male artist of the year and album of the year, married Nicole Hocking on Aug. 1, 2020. Nicole, who started dating Luke in 2016, works for BMI Nashville but majored in civil engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University.
"Head Over Boots" singer-songwriter Jon Pardi was introduced to Summer Duncan, who was working as a hairstylist at the time, by his mother at one of his shows in Denver in 2017. They soon enjoyed one of their first dates at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, which is where he proposed to her while on stage in October 2019! "I wasn't really nervous… It was a great crowd, the energy was just electric, and I was like, 'I'm gonna do it,'" Jon told Taste of Country. "I'd been waiting to do it for five months … and it was just so quick." Jon earned a nomination for album of the year for "Heartache Medication."
Veteran singer-songwriter Ronnie Dunn is no stranger to nominations! The "Damn Drunk" hitmaker has been married to wife Janine since 1990. They share daughter Hailey (he also has two children from a previous marriage). He and frequent collaborator and longtime bandmate Kix Brooks are up for duo of the year.
Kix Brooks, the other half of Brooks & Dunn, has been off the market for nearly 40 years! He and wife Barbara married in 1981 after meeting in 1979 and maintaining a long distance relationship after he relocated to Nashville to pursue a music career. "All married couples argue," Kix told The Boot. "But honestly, in 20 years, Barbara and I have never had a fight. And I can count the arguments on one hand." The country couple share two children, daughter Molly and son Eric. Along with collaborator Ronnie Dunn, Kix is up for duo of the year.
The couple rounding off our list? Singer-songwriter Russell Dickerson and wife Kailey, whom he married in May 2013. The duo met at Belmont University, though their relationship was platonic until 2010. "We were strictly friends, but we started hanging out a lot, and I started asking myself, 'Why do I want to be around Russell all the time?'" Kailey told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Our junior year, we were at this party, at the side of this house, and there was this, 'Are you gonna kiss me or not?' moment, and he did," she recalled. "I was like, 'Wow, all right, we're doing this.'" At the 2020 ACM Awards, Russell is up for new male artist of the year.