Who Was Thomas Rhett’s CMA Awards Date?

Country hitmaker Thomas Rhett attended the 55th Annual CMA Awards on Wednesday evening sans wife, Lauren Akins. Instead, the “Slow…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

November 11, 2021


7:48 am

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Thomas Rhett, Paige Lankford; Photo Courtesy CMA

Country hitmaker Thomas Rhett attended the 55th Annual CMA Awards on Wednesday evening sans wife, Lauren Akins. Instead, the “Slow Down Summer” singer had another special woman in his life by his side: his mom, Paige Lankford.

With Lauren at home close to giving birth to their fourth daughter, Rhett took his mom to the show as they eagerly await their daughter’s arrival. 

“Literally, I’m just waiting on a phone call,” he told Entertainment Tonight ahead of the show, referring to the chance that Lauren may go into labor. “It literally could happen tonight, it could happen tomorrow, who knows?”

“So we’re just gonna keep going until we have to go to the hospital,” he continued. 

Lauren was at home watching the CMA Awards with daughters Willa, 6, Ada, 4, and Lennon, 1. 


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A post shared by ThomasRhettAkins (@thomasrhettakins)

Rhett proudly shared a photo with his mom on Wednesday evening, captioning the backstage photo: “My beautiful date tonight! MOM!!”

Pregnant Lauren Akins gushed over her mother-in-law in the comments section, writing, “CANNOT EVEN HANDLE YOU.”

During the show, Rhett took the stage to perform his chart-topping hit, “Country Again.” 

The singer/songwriter shared a bit of a stripped-down version of the song, which became his 18th No.1 hit earlier this year. 

Thomas Rhett; Photo Courtesy CMA
Thomas Rhett; Photo Courtesy CMA

“This song is so special to me, because every line really is autobiographical,” Thomas Rhett shared in a statement. “But it’s also a song about centering yourself and reconnecting with the things that are truly important to you; which is different for all of us. Being able to share this song with fans each night on the road finally and seeing how it’s resonating with them is something I will never take for granted.”

Click above to re-live a snippet of his performance. 

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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 Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. 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.