In the music world, relationships can last about as long as a cup of coffee. The touring, the late nights and maybe some extracurricular activities can all strain relationships. But in country music, it seems like the marriage bond can be as strong as oak. In honor of one half of country's biggest couples, Tim McGraw, turning 53 on May 1, 2020, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at some of the longest lasting relationships in the genre — starting with Tim and Faith Hill. After more than two decades of marriage and three daughters, these music stars, who wed in 1996, continue to stay strong and defy the odds of a Hollywood marriage. Keep reading to see more of country's most dedicated couples…
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One of the gold standards of marriages within the country genre, George Strait and Norma Voss Strait, met in high school, eloped in Mexico in 1971 and have been together ever since. Life got even better for the duo in 2014 after the "King of Country" retired from touring. As he sings in one of his songs, George and Norma have a "love without end, amen."
In the late '70s, Lisa Hartman Black was known for acting, having starred on a bevy of TV shows including "Knots Landing." In 1990, fate took over when she attended a Clint Black concert. Sparks flew and they married the next year. Lisa, who also sings, has been known to perform with her husband.
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Ronnie Dunn can thank his wife, Janine Dunn — whom he wed in 1990 — for figuring out how to make his solo career work. After 20 years as one half of the legendary duo Brooks and Dunn, Ronnie and his former partner went their separate ways and Ronnie recorded a solo self-titled debut album. Janine helped him "find himself," he told Great American Country. "She told me, 'You've been running hard for 20 years — and for about 15 years before that you were running hard to get here. You need to stop and spend time trying to find where you are in your heart.' As usual, Janine was right. That's what I fought to do with this album, and I feel like, for the most part, I captured that in the end."
Keith Urban is a New Zealand-born Australian. Nicole Kidman is an American-born Australian. Together, they're a match made in entertainment heaven. Married since 2006, the musician and the actress have endured plenty of ups and downs — Keith went to rehab a few months after their wedding — but they've come out on top. They now share two daughters.
When Tricia Lucus met Toby Keith at a bar he was playing at in 1981, he was "just one of those larger-than-life guys, full of confidence," she said 20 years later. The couple married in 1984 and are still going strong.
Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins' romance goes way back… to grade school. That's where the couple met, and they eventually started dating at 15. They wed at 22 back in 2012 and today are more in love than ever. The young couple are now the proud parents of three daughters.
Life hasn't been perfect for Alan Jackson and Denise Jackson, but they are as committed as ever these days. After marrying in 1979, the couple dealt with the superstar's infidelity and the author's colorectal cancer diagnosis. Denise is now cancer-free, Alan is committed and one of the longest love stories in country music lives on.
Talk about a love that lasts! Kix Brooks and Barbara Brooks have been married since 1981! And the country superstar seems as smitten with her now as he ever was as they approach nearly 40 years of wedded bliss together.
It's simple for Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley: Failure is not an option when it comes to their lengthy marriage. The country crooner, who wed the actress in 2003, once told Wonderwall.com of his lasting relationship, "I don't know if there's a secret. I think you have to have the same sort of priorities and outlook. You're sharing a car. You've got to want to be going to the same place," he explained. "You have to decide early on that failure's not an option and that you're going to evolve together. You're going to change. … I'm so different than the total hillbilly she met."
It was sort of a shocker when country music star Vince Gill and Christian singer Amy Grant got together after his 1998 divorce. But the couple has called each other "husband and wife" since 2000. They lean on each other during heartache and perform together from time to time. Vince once told Closer magazine, "The first thing that ever drew me to Amy was that smile. I knew how kind she was and all of those things, but when she first smiled at me, that's when my world flipped on its axis."
Good luck finding a recent photo of Dolly Parton and husband Carl Dean. Don't let that fool you though. The couple has been married since 1966 — that's more than five decades now! And that whole time, Carl has been notoriously private, opting to stay home while Dolly enjoys the spotlight. "I always joke and laugh when people ask me what's the key to my long marriage and lasting love," the country music superstar told People magazine in 2018. "I always say 'Stay gone!' and there's a lot of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we're together and the little things we do."
Martina McBride wed John McBride back in 1988 — more than 30 years ago! John was her soundboard engineer, so the two first worked together. Martina once told VH1 that the secret to her lasting marriage is humor and having respect for each other, "and he does what I say," she added. Noted!
Talk about a couple that's inseparable! Thompson Square's Shawna Thompson and Keifer Thompson have been together since 1996 and married since 1999. Aside from cultivating a successful marriage, they've also released a platinum-selling hit single and picked up a Grammy nomination over the years.
For Merle Haggard, it took him a few tries — four, to be exact — to finally get the whole marriage thing right. Finally, in 1993, he married Theresa Ann Lane, and their love never wavered until his 2016 death when he passed away on his 79th birthday.