Inside Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins’ Incredible Love Story

Thomas Rhett and Lauren Gregory Akins’ love story began when they were first-graders in Valdosta, Georgia. The pair were friends…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

October 12, 2019


5:30 am

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Thomas Rhett, Lauren Akins; Photo via Instagram

Thomas Rhett and Lauren Gregory Akins’ love story began when they were first-graders in Valdosta, Georgia. The pair were friends for several years, attended church camp together and even dated for a brief period while in high school.

Their first attempt at a relationship didn’t work out, so Thomas and Lauren ended up dating other people but remained close friends. During that time, they even came close to marrying other people. That’s when Lauren’s father intervened.

“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 revealed to CBS This Morning.

They kissed and that sealed the deal for both of them. After six months of dating, Thomas proposed.

“My family and her family all went to this one restaurant called Giovanni’s. Me and Lauren are big on drinking wine and signing the bottles with a silver sharpie … dating them and putting them up in our house,” the singer shared with Taste of Country. “So I brought her upstairs to this room in Giovanni’s, and there was a bottle of wine sitting there. I pulled out a sharpie and put ‘Marry me’ on the bottle. Her mom cued ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ by Frank Sinatra and we danced. It was pretty awesome.”

Some people told them they were too young to get married, but in their hearts, Thomas and Lauren knew it was right.

“Everybody was telling us not to … but we just fell in love at a young age,” Rhett told People.

The couple said “I do” on October 12, 2012.

Lauren is the inspiration behind several of Rhett’s hit songs, most notably his six-week No.1 smash, “Die a Happy Man.”

Fans have fallen in love with the couple and often refer to them as #relationshipgoals. Lauren is practically a star in her own right as she’s racked up more than two million Instagram followers. (In 2020, she will expand her resume with the release of a book detailing her life and her relationship with Rhett.)

In early 2017, the pair took to social media to share the exciting news that they were expanding their family.

“We’re so happy to announce that we are pregnant & in the process of adopting a child from Africa,” Rhett wrote. “Safe to say life is about to get crazy!”

In May of that year, the proud parents introduced fans to their 18-month-old daughter, Willa Gray, who finally came home to Nashville after a year-long adoption process.

Baby Ada James was born just three months later.

“I can’t believe that we have two daughters,” an excited Rhett gushed upon her arrival.

Nearly two years later, Thomas and Lauren announced plans to expand their family once again. They took to Instagram to share the news and the baby’s gender once again.

“Excited to share that I will now be paying for 3 weddings,” Rhett wrote. “I feel so blessed to say that our third child is on the way and it’s a girl,” Rhett shared.

Their baby girl is expected to arrive in February 2020.

Even though baby No.3 isn’t here yet, the couple already has plans to add to their brood again in the future. Rhett recently shared that he hopes to have a “massive” family and that they hope to adopt once again.

The Akins family is currently in the process of moving to a larger home to accommodate their growing family.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.