Every long-lasting marriage has its own secret formula, but it looks like being married to a country musician is a common denominator. After all, there are a lot of famous country couples who have been living proof of it. So here, we feature five country music marriages that have stood the test of time. These couples kept the love alive despite the busy and hectic schedule of writing, recording, and touring and made a lot of people believe in a happily ever after.
Let’s get to know them!
1. Dolly Parton and Carl Dean
Topping off the list is the strong 55 years of marriage of Dolly Parton and Carl Dean. Twenty-one-year-old Dean first met Dolly at a laundromat, and he immediately struck a conversation with her. And the rest is history.
But unlike other country couples, they are very elusive – rarely seen together except for that one time Carl Dean reluctantly attended an event with Dolly – to the point that fans are surprised to know that the legendary country singer is married (and even more when they learn that she has been married since 1966!). Not only that, but there have also been a lot of rumors back then (and even now) that Carl Dean is not a real person. Nevertheless, Dolly paid no attention to those rumors, and this attitude, as well as their elusiveness, are probably the two of the many things that made their marriage last this long!
2. George and Norma Strait
George and Norma Strait come in second, having been married since 1971. The couple eloped to Mexico in December 1971, shortly before George entered the ARMY. But lasting this long together did not come easy for them. In their almost 50 years of marriage, they have undeniably been through a lot of things, including losing a child at the very young age of 13. But it was also these tough times that made them strong and kept their relationship going. And they feel so blessed to experience this life together and be able to support each other through all the good and bad times.
Now, they enjoy the small blessings in life, like drinking coffee together in the morning and spending more time with each other.
3. Alan and Denise Jackson
Third on our list is Alan and Denise Jackson, and they are living proof that marriages can be saved with mutual effort and willingness.
Alan and Denise first fell in love back when they were teenagers in high school. And they didn’t waste any second and exchanged vows at only 21 in 1979. Together, they made the big move to Nashville, where Alan tried his luck to carve out a path for himself as a country musician. It took him 10 years before he finally made his headway but as successful as his career came to be, it couldn’t mend his strained relationship with his wife. And his betrayal, on top of that, led them to almost call it quits in 1998. But instead of divorcing, the couple decided to give their love another go, and they worked together through counseling and therapy. And this time around, their love came out stronger, and together, they championed through all the challenges that life gave them.
4. Kix and Barbara Brooks
Kix Brooks, known as the other half of Brooks & Dunn, first met Barbara in 1979. And four decades later, he is still head over heels for her. And so is she.
At the time after they first met, they were both in Maine, but Kix left to pursue a country music career in Nashville. While the distance between them was thousands of miles away, that didn’t stop them. And finally, they were married in 1981. (Although things could’ve been different as Kix overslept and was almost late to his own wedding!) Soon enough, Kix got his breakthrough in the industry and formed the duo with Ronnie Dunn in 1990. But despite all the fame and success, nothing ever changed with their relationship. And they made it work with two children even through the hectic touring schedule. Now, they are still happily married and in love with each other.
5. Toby Keith and Tricia Covel
Capping off our top five country couples is Toby Keith and his wife Tricia Covel, who have been married since 1984. And just like all the other couples on this list, they have already been together before fame even came. The two met at an Oklahoma nightclub in 1981 (Toby was 20 and Tricia was 19), and three years later, they got married.
As Toby Keith fought his way to make his name in country music, a lot of people kept on telling Tricia that she needed to tell him to find a real job. But she never paid attention to what they said and kept her faith in her husband. And everything bore fruit as Toby started earning chart-topping hits and awards. Tricia’s faith in him and the support that she continuously gave him are undeniably the two things that made their relationship last this long.
Country Strong: Longest-Married Couples
Aside from the five couples that we have already met and whose stories made us believe that there is indeed love that is real, here are some more couples who have been married for 10 years and longer!
- Martina and John McBride (1988)
- Ronnie and Janine Dunn (1990)
- Clint and Lisa Black (1991)
- Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (1996)
- Shawna and Keifer Thompson (1999)
- Vince Gill and Amy Grant (2000)
- Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams (2003)
- Dierks Bentley and Cassidy Black (2005)
- Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood (2005)
- Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild (2006)
- Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman (2006)
- Luke and Caroline Boyer (2006)
- Charles and Cassie Kelley (2009)
Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Kix Brooks, Toby Keith