Barstool Sports’ Brianna LaPaglia responded to rumors she’s dating singer-songwriter Zach Bryan — but she’s still playing coy about their status.
“I started hanging out with a guy named Zach, what, three weeks ago?” the 24-year-old (known online as Brianna Chickenfry) revealed on the Thursday, July 27, episode of her “PlanBri Uncut” podcast. “It’s fun, it’s casual, and yeah, I just wanted to address it because the whole internet is freaking the f—k out and people are doing s—t. And yeah, that’s really it. Just hanging out, having some fun.”
LaPaglia and Bryan, 27, first sparked dating rumors after they were spotted together in a TikTok video with a group of friends. They added fuel to the fire in June when LaPaglia joined Bryan on stage at Forest Hills Stadium in New York City for a performance of “Revival” during his Burn Burn Burn American Tour.
LaPaglia went on to call the online conversation surrounding her love life “crazy,” telling her podcast cohost, Grace O’Malley, “For some reason, I thought I was never gonna have to say it. I thought it was gonna be, like, the one thing from the internet that I could keep a secret.”
She continued: “It just sucks with the internet how they speculate and s—t with timelines and stuff. And yeah, it’s just stupid, so I figured I’d just say it before the whole internet gets to say who I am and what I’m doing.”
For now, LaPaglia said she’s “happy” about her connection with Bryan and is excited to see “where it goes.” She noted: “I have the people in my life that I care about. They know what I’m doing. They know the timeline of things. Why should I even care about the people on the internet that just make s—t up? It’s just stupid.”
Though she didn’t specify when the pair’s relationship began, they crossed paths earlier this year at the 2023 ACM Awards. LaPaglia titled a May 22 YouTube vlog “Meeting Zach Bryan at the American Country Music Awards.”
In addition to including a “Zach Bryan count” for every time she mentioned his name in the video, LaPaglia shared footage of herself freaking out after meeting Bryan on the red carpet.
“I’m sitting there, like, ‘I don’t know how to talk to you unless I’m flirting. I want to respect your boundaries, sir. Can we please have a picture?’” she recalled of their interaction. “[He’s] the nicest man I’ve ever met in my entire life. … We met Zach Bryan and we haven’t stopped smiling.”
Bryan, for his part, has not directly addressed the speculation. He was previously married to Rose Madden from 2020 to 2021, later sparking a romance with now-ex Debra Peifer. Bryan announced weeks after the 2023 ACMs that he and Peifer had called it quits.
“For transparency and with respect I am letting everyone know Debra and me went our separate ways about a week and a half ago,” he tweeted on May 31. “Things are mutual between us, we’re leaving with plenty [of] memories and good times. I beg so much that everyone respects her and my privacy through a hard time.”