We're all familiar with the biggest male country music stars, but what about their leading ladies? Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at the wives of some of country's most beloved musicians ahead of the Country Music Association Awards on Nov. 10, 2021… starting with Thomas Rhett's better half, Lauren Akins. Thomas and Lauren's love story is one of country music's sweetest! The couple, who tied the knot in 2012 and share daughters Willa Gray, Ada James and Lennon Love — and have a fourth little girl on the way — were childhood sweethearts who met in the first grade! While her husband is an award-winning singer, Lauren has a nursing degree and has used her training while doing humanitarian work. "Nursing at its core is not about taking vitals and wearing scrubs," she told the graduating class of the University of Tennessee's College of Nursing, her alma mater, in 2012. "It's about caring for people." Lauren, who's worked with the non-profit organization Love One International, which provides medical aid for children in Uganda, is also an author: She released the bestselling memoir "Live in Love" in 2020.
Keep reading to learn more about other country music stars' wives…
Kane Brown first met wife Katelyn Jae in 2015. According to the country star, he was immediately smitten. "She came to one of my shows, and the first time I saw her, it was the shy giddiness," he told Taste of Country. "I didn't know what was going to happen. She lived in Orlando [and] was in Miami. I messaged her on Instagram the next night and said, 'Hey, when are we going to hang out?' and flew her down, and she hasn't left since." The couple married in 2018 and welcomed daughter Kingsley Rose in 2019. Like her husband, Katelyn is a singer: She graduated from the Berklee School of Music and previously won MySpace's "Take the Stage" singing competition.
Chris Stapleton and wife Morgane married in 2007. The couple, who have five children (including a set of twins), met while working as songwriters at the same music publishing company — and their first date was a co-writing session. Morgane often performs background and duet vocals with Chris. She's also written music for notable country artists including Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood and Kellie Pickler.
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Dan Smyers of country-pop duo Dan + Shay married Abby Law in 2017. The couple dated for three and a half years before tying the knot. Abby, a huge dog lover, gave up her job so that she and Dan could together pursue his dream of making it in the music industry. "I quit my stable job. We adopted a brown dog," she wrote in a 2018 Instagram post. "We had no idea where life would take us but we surely knew we loved each other and wanted to do it together. How things have changed since that day. I have watched this man work tirelessly at his art. Every single day he works to create and he always pushes himself to improve."
As for Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay? He's married to Hannah Billingsley, whom he met through mutual friends. The couple, who first set their sights on each other in 2014, welcomed son Asher James in January 2017 before tying the knot in October that same year. Hannah, who grew up in rural Arkansas and was Miss Arkansas USA 2013, chatted with the blog The Thrifty Pineapple in 2018 about her feelings prior to having her son. "Growing up as we both did, in conservative small towns with traditional parents, we were terrified to confess our new status as parents-to-be," she admitted. "However, despite the stress and the surprise of the situation, babies are blessings and we knew this child would be SO loved by all." In 2020, they welcomed son No. 2, Ames Alexander.
Singer-songwriter Jason Aldean met wife Brittany Kerr, a former dancer for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats' Lady Cats dance team, after she auditioned for "American Idol" in 2012. After admitting he "acted inappropriately at a bar" with Brittany that September, he returned home to his wife and daughters, only to end his marriage to his high school sweetheart in 2013. Jason and Brittany made their first appearance together at the 2014 CMA Awards, tied the knot in 2015 and have since welcomed son Memphis and daughter Navy Rome.
Dierks Bentley met wife Cassidy Black in middle school. After years of dating on and off, they reconnected and tied the knot in 2005. They've since welcomed three children: daughters Evie Day and Jordan Catherine and son Knox. "Probably one of the things I'm most grateful for is some of the success coming later as it has, because it's really nice to share it with somebody," Dierks told The Boot. "When it starts, it's so nice to share a lot of ups, a lot of downs, a lot of in-between moments with her. It's been a crazy, crazy ride, but certainly, right now, for this to be happening is awesome." Cassidy is also an athlete: In 2017, she completed the Boston Marathon for the second time, raising more than $24,000 for charity int the process. Her time? An impressive 3 hours and 26 minutes!
Sam Hunt has a long history with wife Hannah Lee Fowler. They dated, broke up for some time then eventually got back together. In fact, many of the songs on Sam's debut album, 2014's "Montevallo" — which he named after Hannah's Alabama hometown — were about their romance. "I didn't actually live in that town," Sam told E! News. "I had never visited Montevallo, but right before I left to go to Nashville, I met a girl from there. A lot of experiences I had with her and the relationship I had with her, that inspired a lot of the songwriting on the album." Sam and Hannah tied the knot in 2017.
Nicole Kidman is one of country music's most famous spouses. Nicole married country music star Keith Urban in 2006 — the year after they met. Together, they share daughters Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret. Nicole, who was also previously married to actor Tom Cruise, with whom she shares kids Bella and Connor, is a celebrated actress with an Oscar, two Emmys and more prestigious pries to her name. In 2021, Nicole starred in and executive produced the Hulu miniseries "Nine Perfect Strangers," which is based on the 2018 Liane Moriarty novel of the same name.
Grammy Award-winning country music singer-songwriter Brad Paisley married actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley in 2003. The couple share sons William and Jasper. Brad first set his sights on Kimberly 10 years prior to actually dating her when he saw her in the 1991 film "Father of the Bride." Some of her other credits include "According to Jim," "Nashville," "Father of the Bride II," "Identity Theft," "Speech & Debate," "The Christmas Chronicles" and "The Violent Heart." She'll next appear in the 2021 holiday movies "Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday" and "Sister Swap: Christmas in the City."
Garth Brooks isn't the only country star in his marriage! In 2005, the singer-songwriter tied the knot with fellow country artist Trisha Yearwood. Since releasing her debut single, "She's in Love with the Boy," in 1991, Trisha has gone on to release 14 studio albums including her self-titled debut, "The Sweetest Gift," "Where Your Road Leads," "Heaven Heartache and the Power of Love" and "Every Girl." She's also an accomplished chef who released her first cookbook, "Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen," in 2008, which she followed with "Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood" in 2010. Her latest came out in 2021: "Trisha's Kitchen." In 2012, she launched her own cooking television show on the Food Network, "Trisha's Southern Kitchen," which earned a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding culinary program.
Caroline Boyer, who married Luke Bryan in 2006, met her singer-songwriter husband in college — the pair briefly dated before breaking up and eventually getting back together. "I was playing a little bar in Statesboro and she just happened to kinda be in town," Luke told HuffPost. "We kinda saw each other and talked a little bit and then started emailing back and forth a little bit. And she was like, 'Hey, you want to come to my family's Christmas party?' I went to the party and the rest is history." The couple share sons Thomas Boyer and Tatum Christopher. They also adopted Luke's nieces and nephews, Jordan, Kris and Til, after Ben — Luke's brother-in-law — passed away in 2014. In addition to being a doting mother, Caroline also runs Brett's Barn, a therapy center with animals for children and families dealing with illness, which was launched in 2017 in memory of their niece, Sadie Brett Boyer, who passed away when she was 7 months old.
Allison Alderson married Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus in 2004. The pair, who share daughter Madeline Leigh and son Dylan Jay, met on the set of the Rascal Flatts music video for "These Days." Allison is a former beauty queen who competed in the Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. In addition to regularly hosting the Miss Tennessee beauty pageant, Allison has also appeared as a host on CMT's "Hot 20 Countdown" and has previously been a red carpet host for the CMT Music Awards.
Jay DeMarcus isn't the only member of Rascal Flatts who has an adorable love story! Frontman Gary LeVox met his wife, Tara Vernon — whom he married in 1999 — backstage at a gospel music festival. According to the singer-songwriter, it was love at first sight! "I was actually singing backup for a gospel artist and we had done a show in Decatur, Alabama," Gary told CMT Offstage. "A lady came up and was standing with her daughter, and we were just talking. And I knew at that moment that I was looking at my future wife. It was the weirdest thing ever." Allison, who has a degree in business administration from Rhodes College, is also a former beauty queen who was crowned Miss Tennessee Teen in 1994, Miss Tennessee in 1999 and Miss Tennessee USA in 2002. Jay and Allison share two children: Madeline Leigh and Dylan Jay.
Tyler Hubbard of country duo Florida Georgia Line married Hayley Stommel in 2015 after two years of dating. (Fun fact: Hayley was the inspiration behind the duo's hit track featuring Bebe Rexha, "Meant to Be.") According to Hayley, who runs the parenting site Meaning Full Living with dietician Jessica Diamond, their wedding almost didn't happen. "When I quit my job at Merrill Lynch [in Nashville] and was about to move back to California, a friend of mine told me to pray about the move and that he didn't think I should leave," she wrote. "So, I did. I asked God to make it clear. As I was signing my Cali lease the next day, my boss came up to me and said he would double my salary if I would stay. I looked up and almost laughed in his face. I had gotten my clarity. One month later that same friend, who is now my husband, gave me my last first kiss. Wow am I glad I stayed." The couple share three children: daughter Olivia and sons Luca and Atlas.
Eric Church exchanged vows with Katherine Blasingame — with whom he shares sons Boone McCoy and Tennessee Hawkins — in 2008. While her husband is an award-winning name in country music, Katherine was actually in the industry before him — she's a music publisher! According to Eric, the pair met because Katherine "was trying to hook me up to write with one of her writers that she represented," he told Taste of Country. "It's great now, because being a publisher and being somebody in the industry, I can bounce songs off her and she has the knowledge, you know, to be kind of that sounding board of what I should cut and what I shouldn't cut. So she's one of those in the inner circle that I run a lot of stuff by."
Tim McGraw's wife is a country superstar in her own right! Faith Hill married Tim in 1996 after meeting him two years prior. They now share three adult daughters: Gracie, Maggie Elizabeth and Audrey Caroline. She's sold upwards of 40 million albums worldwide since releasing seven studio albums including "Take Me as I Am," "It Matters to Me," "Faith" and "Breathe," which is one of the bestselling country albums of all time. To date, Faith's won five Grammys, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards and six American Music Awards. She has a new project on the horizon too: Faith co-stars alongside Tim on Paramount+'s "Yellowstone" prequel, "1883," which debuts in December 2021.
From friends to lovers! Dave Haywood of Lady A married Kelli Cashiola, then a record label executive, in December 2011 after seven months of dating (and more than five years of friendship). "I feel so lucky that our friendship has grown into this relationship," Dave told People magazine in 2011. "We are totally comfortable with each other." Kelly and Dave share two children: son Cash Van, who was born in 2014, and daughter Lillie Renee, who was born in 2017.