We already know Thomas Rhett follows strict self-implemented rules on tour. No girls on the bus. No girls touching him during meet-and-greets.
“The rules and precedents I’ve set for myself out on the road really are the biggest things that kind of hold our marriage together,” he told Taste of Country.
What you may not know is the story of Rhett and his wife, Lauren (Gregory) Akins. You may not know the story of how they fell in love.
Rhett’s hit song “Die A Happy Man” is all about his wife, how he needs her “crazy love.” When the song came out, it was the most played country song on the radio for six weeks, leading to an ACM Award for Single Record of the Year.
To understand their love for each other, we have to go way back. Back to the first grade in Valdosta, Georgia, where they both grew up, back to age 13 when they went to camp together. Back to age 15 when they temporarily dated each other, then decided to just be friends, according to Taste of Country.
Later in their teen years, they each dated other people, thinking they’d never get back together.
“I almost married someone else, and she did too,” Rhett said in an interview with CBS This Morning.
That wouldn’t be the case, not if Lauren’s father had anything to say about it.
“Her dad called me and said, ‘If you don’t come over here tonight and tell Lauren how you feel about her, then I’m going to tell her how you feel about her,” Rhett told CBS.
Then Lauren broke off her other relationship.
“When I heard that she had ended her other relationship, I moved in for the kill,” he told Taste of Country. “We kissed, and that was it. We dated for probably six months, and we got engaged last December, around Christmas time.”
Then they got married, the consummation of their love.
Lauren posted one of their wedding photos on Instagram nearly three years ago, saying, “Came across one of my favorites tonight! Last minute throwback to the best day with MY best.”
Rhett’s dad, country songwriter Rhett Akins, was confident that the couple was madly in love.
“When I saw them stare at each other the entire 20 minutes they were saying their vows, it’s like these two people are meant to be together,” Akins told The Boot.
For their honeymoon, they hit up Oahu. Three years later, they revisited that place to shoot the music video for “Die A Happy Man,” where Lauren was the star love interest.
“It was inevitable for her to be in [the video] because I wrote the song for her and about her,” Rhett told People.
Rhett also told People that all of the flirting and random kisses were for real.