No matter how much we try to avoid it, breakups do happen, and it’s okay. It’s part of the story, an ending chapter that leads people to open a new one. In country music, fans have seen a lot of these breakups happen, especially in recent years, but even though it’s quite common, there are still those shocking ones that leave us wondering what went wrong and how it all went down. Sometimes, it even makes us question if love really does exist.
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Here we round up 10 of the most shocking couple breakups in country music.
George Jones and Tammy Wynette (1975)
The success of George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s music together never translated into their personal life as husband and wife. In fact, it was the direct opposite. Their relationship had been a rollercoaster ride with Jones’ excessive drinking that led to a lot of their marital conflicts. They even went through divorce twice, the first one to rein in Jones’ liquor abuse after he allegedly chased Wynette with a loaded rifle while whiskey-drunk, and the second, which was final, was after Jones bought a Cadillac in response to a fight they had.
Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl (2001)
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Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl’s marriage had long been on the rocks, and the breakup was just something waiting to happen. And the main culprit behind that was Brooks’ successful career. According to Mahl, Brooks was not home most of the time, and when he was, it still felt like he wasn’t around. And so, they decided that it was best to divorce and end their 15-year marriage.
Kenny Chesney and Renee Zellweger (2005)
ya'll. ya'll. remember when Kenny Chesney was married to Renee Zellweger, and she looked like this? #cmaawards2014 pic.twitter.com/aGJHieBJAL— Kristin Boehm (@turbotales) November 6, 2014
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Their whirlwind romance definitely caught attention at the time. The two just met, and the next thing people knew, they were off to get married on an island. Then four months later, Renee was already filing to annul their marriage. This then led to a lot of speculations about their marriage, especially rumors about Chesney’s sexuality. But the singer, later on, revealed that the reason their marriage didn’t work was simply that he was not yet ready to commit.
Shania Twain and Robert “Mutt” Lange (2008)
This country music breakup is probably one of the biggest heartbreaks in country music. It wasn’t just the end of a 14-year marriage but also the end of a years-long friendship. Twain discovered that Lange was having an affair with his then secretary, who was also her best friend. Although things didn’t turn out well for the couple, it gave way to better things in life for Twain. She also said that life just had to play out the way it was meant to, and she couldn’t really complain about the way it ended up.
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert (2015)
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Once the hottest couple in country music, the fire of their relationship quickly fanned away. Issues piled on top of one another – long-distance, kids, and loyalty – and soon, they reached a point in their relationship where it was beyond saving. After five years of marriage, the couple decided to end it. But their fallout did not stop right there as Blake and Miranda went back and forth, accusing each other of infidelity. Considering the two gave up relationships to make theirs work, this was just messy right from the start.
Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock (2015)
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Reba McEntire’s 26 years of marriage with husband and manager Narvel Blackstock came to an end last 2015. And as much as the news came as a shock to fans, Reba was just as surprised. In one episode of her podcast, Reba confessed to co-host Melissa Peterman and their guest Dolly Parton that the divorce was not her idea and even more so, she didn’t want in ‘any shape, form, or fashion.’
But while the divorce was disappointing for Reba, it did make her stronger and helped her appreciate the industry more as she carved her way into an unfamiliar entertainment territory she never imagined she would be dealing with.
Trace and Rhonda Adkins (2015)
May 13, 2013
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The third time was supposed to be the charm, but for Trace, it looked like he needed another magic spell. The couple split after 17 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. And fans were especially shocked; after all, Rhonda played a big part in the success of Trace Adkins. Not to mention that he proposed to her on the stage of Grand Ole Opry.
Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock (2020)
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Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock’s divorce last year swept the headlines of major entertainment outlets. And as surprising as the divorce itself filed by Clarkson was the $200,000 spousal and child support that she was required to pay Blackstock. Recently, the tides have shifted towards Clarkson’s side after a judge fully upheld their prenuptial agreement (heavily contested by Blackstock), winning her the full rights of the Montana ranch where the family quarantined last year.
Carly Pearce and Michael Ray (2020)
The fairytale-like love story of Carly Pearce and former husband Michael Ray that started on a rainy fall day in 2019 ended unexpectedly – way too suddenly for most – just eight months after. According to the singer, they quickly realized that they were not meant to be, and though as short as it was, she would never call it a mistake. The singer believes that people don’t go through things that they’re not supposed to. Her love was real, and she will stand by that forever.
Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly (2020)
With their meet-cute story, it seemed like Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly were a match made in country heaven. But as they say, there’s always more to the story than what we see on social media. After two-and-a-half years of being together, the two announced their divorce. But the breakup was nothing terrible but simply a sad parting of two people who no longer shared the same season of their lives.
Blake Shelton, Brandon Blackstock, Carly Pearce, Garth Brooks, George Jones, kacey musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, michael ray, Miranda Lambert, Narvel Blackstock, Reba McEntire, Renee Zellweger, Rhonda Adkins, Robert Lange, ruston kelly, sandy mahl, Shania Twain, Tammy Wynette, Trace Adkins