The Longest-Running Country Music Marriages of All Time
If the songs are any indication, the love lives of country musicians are nothing but one heartbreak after another. However, that couldn't be further from the truth! There are plenty of country couples out there who have had long, love-filled marriages without all the drama and tears you find in the music.
Today, we're taking a look at some of the country music marriages that have lasted the longest. When these couples said, "Til death do us part," they clearly meant it! While some of these marriages have had their rough patches, trials, and tribulations, these stars and their spouses have managed to work through their problems and emerge stronger and more in love than ever.
Some of these long-running relationships might even come as a surprise to you because you'll quickly see that not every spouse of a country musician loves to be in the limelight as much as their famous husband or wife. Some are more than happy to support their spouse from behind the scenes without a lot of attention on themselves.
Love is a rare thing in this world, but these country musicians hit the jackpot and have had decades of wedded bliss.
Let's get started!
George Strait and Norma Voss
George Strait and Norma Voss have one of the longest-running marriages in country music history. The two met in high school, long before Strait had a high-profile music career, and they've been together ever since. The two officially tied the knot all the way back in 1971!
The happy couple had two children together, although their daughter tragically died when she was a teenager in 1986. This tragedy brought the family together, and George and Norma set up the Jennifer Lynn Strait Foundation in her honor which donates to children's charities in San Antonio, Texas.
Ronnie and Janine Dunn
Ronnie Dunn owes a lot of his success as a country musician to his wife Janine. The two married in 1990 around the same time that his famous music duo, Brooks and Dunn, broke up. He was trying to make it as a solo artist, and according to him, Janine was instrumental in helping him find his voice as a solo artist.
And what was her advice to her husband? Stop and smell the roses for once! He says she told him, "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."
Toby Keith and Tricia Lucus
If you were to judge by his public persona, Toby Keith wouldn't strike you as the kind of country guy to fall madly and love and stick with one woman. However, he's clearly a different guy behind the scenes because he's been married to his sweetheart Tricia Lucus since 1984.
Back then, Keith was just a fledgling musician with his best and most famous days in front of him, but Lucus clearly saw something in Keith that she loved. After more than three decades together, the two now have a huge family to enjoy with their three children and four grandchildren.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill make up one of the best country music power couples of all time. The two wed way back in 1996 when both of them were some of the hottest names in country music. It seems like all that star power was good for the couple, as they've been together ever since.
During their long marriage, the couple has welcomed three daughters into the world to help fill out their famous family. They show no signs of slowing down, so we bet this decades-long relationship has a few more decades left in it!
Travis Tritt and Theresa Nelson
When it comes to country music, Travis Tritt's reputation is unimpeachable. However, when it comes to love...the story is a bit more messy and complicated. With two marriages within the span of a decade and a reputation for being a bad boy, it seemed impossible that he would find lasting love.
However, all that changed in 1997 when he married model Theresa Nelson. The couple is approaching two decades of marriage and has three children together, so it looks like Tritt finally found a woman to help him settle down. It's amazing what true love can do to a former bad boy!
Alan and Denise Jackson
Alan Jackson doesn't have a spotless record when it comes to love, but he's clearly found a woman who is willing to stick things out when the going gets tough. He married his high school sweetheart, Denise Jackson, in 1979, and the couple had about two decades of smooth sailing before things went south.
In 1998, it was revealed that Jackson had cheated on his wife, and the two separated from one another for several months. However, the two lovebirds couldn't stand being away from each other for too long, so they finally reconciled. Since then, the couple seems to be stronger than ever.
Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus
It shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that the country musician, whose claim to fame is "Achy Breaky Heart," would have some troubles in his love life, and that's exactly the case with Billy Ray Cyrus and his wife, Tish. Though the two have been married for decades, it seems like they're always on the rocks.
The couple married all the way back in 1993, but it hasn't been smooth sailing for the two. As of 2022, the couple has filed for divorce three times. Once in 2010, in 2013, and again in 2022. Since the first two eventually fell through, we'll have to wait and see if this newest one sticks.
Martina and John McBride
Lots of people fall in love in the workplace, and that's exactly what happened with Martina McBride and her husband, John. Before the two fell madly in love, John was a music engineer who worked on McBride's albums. While they might have started with a professional relationship, the two just couldn't deny the sparks between each other.
The two got married all the way back in 1988, and it seems like they've been happy ever since. McBride once cheekily told reporters that the secret to their long-lasting, happy marriage was that John "does what I say." It seems like John has really internalized the mantra of "Happy Wife, Happy Life".
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman
You might not realize it, but one of the biggest names in country music is actually from down under. Keith Urban may be a New Zealander, but that hasn't stopped him from having a wildly successful country music career in the states. His wife, Aussie Nicole Kidman, had a similar rise to fame here in the US.
The two have been married since 2006, but it hasn't been all sunshine and roses for the couple. Shortly after their wedding, Urban checked into rehab for alcoholism, but Kidman stood by her man even when the going got tough. These days, the couple is doing much better and enjoys spending time with their two daughters.
Willie Nelson and Annie D'Angelo
You never know when love is gonna find you, and Willie Nelson can confirm that to be true! When he was filming the 1986 movie Stagecoach, he probably didn't think that Cupid's arrow was going to strike him, but that's exactly how things turned out for the outlaw country musician and his future wife.
While working on the film, he was introduced to one of the movie's makeup artists, Annie D'Angelo, and it was love at first sight for the couple. The two married in 1991, and the rest was history! Of his loving wife, Nelson had this to say, "She's been with me through thick and thin — you can't ask for anything more than that!"
Ricky Scaggs and Sharon White
Ricky Scaggs and his wife, Sharon White, are another couple who found love with each other through their shared love of music. While Scaggs may have had a more high-profile career, Sharon is also an accomplished musician who plays in a family country band, The Whites. The two married in 1981 and have been making music ever since.
The two have released several songs with each other throughout the years, but it wasn't until 2014 that they released a full album of duets, Hearts Like Ours. When the album dropped, Scaggs told reporters, "Now, to have been married 33 years, and what we've been through together with children and each other, as well as the way we've grown as people and as Christians, our faith has grown, I feel like we really have something to sing about."
Dolly Parton and Carl Dean
What's the big secret to a long-lasting, loving marriage? If you were to ask Dolly Parton and her husband, Carl Dean, they'd probably tell you it's keeping a low profile. This country couple has amazingly been together since 1966, but it's highly unlikely you've seen the couple together in public.
While Parton might be one of the most recognizable and successful artists of all time, it seems that Dean prefers to let her have the limelight. He's a notoriously private person, but even though you might not see them together, there's plenty of love between the two behind the scenes.
Vince Gill and Amy Grant
It doesn't seem like a failed marriage could lead to something great, but Vince Gill and Amy Grant would beg to differ. The two met in the '90s as both of them were dealing with failing, loveless marriages. However, they stayed true to their vows and didn't become a couple until the divorces were finalized.
The musical couple finally wed in 2000 and have been together ever since. Though the two took things slow at the beginning of their relationship, it was clearly love at first sight for Vince Gill, who told reporters, "When she first smiled at me, that's when my world flipped on its axis."
Neal and Melinda McCoy
Love can show up in some pretty unexpected places, and for country musician Neal McCoy and his wife, Melinda, it happened at the mall. Way back in the early '80s, years before McCoy's music career took off, he was working in a shoe store when a customer who would become his future wife walked in.
The two wed in 1980 and have been together ever since. They have two kids together, and, at this point, it looks like the happy couple will stick with each other forever. Country music might be all about broken hearts, but the relationships of country musicians tell another story!
Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood
If you're a big fan of country music from the '90s, then the marriage of Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood probably seems too good to be true! However, these two titans of the country music industry managed to find love, and, even more surprisingly, have managed to make that love last!
While both singers had previous marriages, they knew that this one was different and married in 2005. And what's their secret to maintaining a marriage for almost 20 years? Making sure to spend plenty of time together. According to an interview with Yearwood, the couple spends approximately five days apart during any given year.
Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black
Can a country musician and a Hollywood actress make it work? When it comes to Clint Black and his wife, Lisa Hartman, they definitely did! The two first laid eyes on one another backstage at a 1990 Clint Black concert, and it wasn't long before they were madly in love with one another.
Once the two finally tied the knot in 1991, they were inseparable. They've been together for 30 years now, and it's all because they found the secret to a long-lasting marriage. Black told People magazine, "Love is something that you nurture and protect. We've grown together in our relationship and never apart."
Kix and Barbara Brooks
Kix Brooks has been part of the iconic country duo Brooks and Dunn since 1990. However, he's been part of an even more important partnership for much longer. He first met his future wife, Barbara, in 1979, and by 1981 the two had made things official and tied the knot.
While fame has the power to change people for the worse, Kix and Barbara's relationship was still on solid ground after Brooks and Dunn exploded in popularity, with Barbara saying, "Kix's fame came when he was a little older, so he already had a strong sense of himself. I don't see very many changes in him." The two have been married for a whopping 41 years!
Marty Stuart and Connie Smith
Country star Marty Stuart had already fallen for Connie Smith long before the two actually knew one another! When he was young, Smith was already an established singer and just so happened to be his mother's favorite musician. He even got the chance to meet Smith after one of her performances.
However, it would be more than 25 years later before they started a relationship after meeting again at a music event in 1994. The relationship was clearly worth the wait for both of them because they've been together ever since! They married in 1997 and have been together for 25 years at this point!
Patty Loveless and Emory Gordy Jr.
Patty Loveless rose to country music fame in the late '80s and '90s with singles like "Timber, I'm Falling in Love", "Blame it on Your Heart", and a cover of George Jones' "If My Heart Had Windows." And it was about this same time that she started dating her future husband, Emory Gordy Jr.
The two met when Gordy worked as a producer on one of Loveless' albums and officially tied the knot in February of 1989. The two were staples of the Nashville scene until they decided to move to Georgia in 2001, but their marriage has survived all these changes and more. The two have been together for 33 years now.
Aaron and Thea Tippin
Thea Tippin has been around for her husband's entire country music career. Shortly after he began his journey to stardom, Aaron signed up with a talent agency where Thea worked as a management assistant. They first met one another in 1990, and by 1995, the two had made things official and tied the knot.
While Aaron Tippin may get the spotlight, he realizes that his fame and career are the results of a team effort. During an interview celebrating the couple's 25th anniversary, Tippin said, "She’s got as much stake in this game as I do. She saw me at my lowest days, stood right there and stayed—even when things weren’t great and I wasn’t having hit records. She listened to me whine all through it all. I owe her everything."
Keifer and Shawna Thompson
Having a romantic relationship with someone you work with can be a real challenge, but Keifer and Shawna Thompson (who perform together as Thompson Square) have managed to keep the magic alive while putting out numerous country music hits in the 2010s. They've released three albums at this point and don't show any signs of slowing down.
The two actually embarked on solo country music careers during the early days of their marriage, but eventually, they realized that they were miserable being apart and would rather try to make it big together. The two tied the knot in 1999 and have been together for 23 magical, musical years.
Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams
Brad Paisley released his first country music album in 1999, and, in the ensuing years, he's released ten more that have sold a combined 11 million copies! For most of those years, Paisley's wife, actress Kimberly Williams, has been by his side. The two married in 2003 after the end of Paisley's first marriage.
Apparently, Paisley popped the question to Williams in front of the toilets at Venice Beach—a fact which Williams can thankfully laugh at looking back. Since then, the two have been inseparable and helped to support each other's careers. They also have two sons together, born in 2007 and 2009.
Dierks Bentley and Cassidy Black
Dierks Bentley rose to fame in the country music world in 2003. And while he married his wife, Cassidy Black, a few years after his meteoric rise, the two have known each other much longer. In fact, their first meeting was in eighth grade, but it wasn't love at first sight. In fact, Black said this about the young Bentley—"He was just trouble."
However, Bentley got his act together at some point and popped the question. After Black said yes, the two eloped that same day to be married in Mexico. Since then, the couple have had three children together and seem to be doing great. It's only a couple of years until the hit the 20-year mark!
Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild
Marrying a fellow country star is not something that happens every day, but Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild (both from the band Little Big Town) have somehow managed to make their careers and their love work at the same time. However, the relationship took some time, as Fairchild was already married when Little Big Town was founded.
Eventually, that former marriage went south, and Westbrook and Fairchild began a relationship together. They finally tied the knot in 2006 and were officially partners in music and in love. Since then, things have been going great in the relationship and in the band. Fairchild had this to say in an interview about the marriage—"Jimi is my soulmate. 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."
Charles and Cassie Kelley
Before Charles Kelley met his future wife, Cassie, he thought he was falling for another woman. Specifically, he thought he was in love with fellow Lady Antebellum bandmate Hillary Scott. However, he knew that Cassie was the woman for him after meeting her through his brother. The two officially tied the knot in 2009.
After a few years of marriage, the couple had a public struggle trying to conceive. However, their struggles eventually paid off, and the couple welcomed a child back in 2015. Between sharing 13 years of marriage and raising their child together, it's clear that this couple is in it for the long haul!
Jeff Hanna and Matraca Berg
Kids these days might not know much about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, but, back in the day, they were a big deal! Though members of the band came and went, Jeff Hanna was seen as the guy who held everything together, thanks to his distinction as the longest-running member of the group.
In 1993, Hanna married fellow country musician Matraca Berg, who has had a respectable music career in her own right. Their meeting couldn't have been any more country, as they were first introduced while both touring with Clint Black. The couple has two children together, and one of their sons has followed in the family business as a country musician.
Shania Twain and Frédéric Thiébaud
Shania Twain may be Canadian, but her love life is straight out of a country music song, so she's okay by us. Twain married her first husband, Robert Lange, in 2001. However, the couple called it quits in 2008 after it was revealed that Lange had been unfaithful. That's when things got really interesting!
It turns out that Lange cheated with Twain's best friend, Marie-Anne Thiébaud. Once her husband, Frédéric Thiébaud, found out about the affair, he also asked for a divorce. Then, just two short years later, Twain and Frédéric Thiébaud began a relationship and tied the knot in 2011. It was a long and painful way to find love, but it seems like the two finally ended up with who they were supposed to be with.
Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher
Carrie Underwood began her music career as an American Idol contestant, but, since then, she's risen to country superstardom and has managed to nab eight Grammy awards along with countless other accolades—making her the most decorated artist in country music history. She hasn't done half bad in her career...or in love!
In 2010, Underwood tied the knot with NHL athlete Mike Fisher after meeting at one of her concerts several years earlier. Since their wedding, the couple have had two children together. Additionally, Underwood has revealed that she's suffered three miscarriages, which helped to inspire her song "Cry Pretty."
Chris and Morgane Stapleton
Chris Stapleton has been a part of the country music community in a variety of ways—from songwriter to band member to solo artist. Similarly, his wife, Morgane, had a similar trajectory in her own career—she's written songs for the likes of Carrie Underwood and provided vocals for other country stars like Lee Ann Womack.
The two first met when they were songwriters for different publishing companies in Nashville. They tied the knot in 2007, and it's been happily ever after ever since. As of 2019, the couple has five kids together, but we're not sure if there are any more on the horizon—surely their kids and careers keep them plenty busy already!
Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins
There was never any question if Thomas Rhett would become a country music star. As the son of Rhett Akins, it surprised no one that he carried on the family legacy. As of 2022, he's released six albums and has been nominated for a Grammy four times. He has no wins yet, but we're sure that's on the horizon!
In 2012, Rhett married his wife, Lauren Akins, but their relationship was much longer in the making. Apparently, the two have known each other since first grade and began to date while still in high school. The two have three daughters together, including an adopted child from Uganda.