America’s sweetheart! Growing up, Lauren Akins never imagined that she would marry a world-renowned country singer and leave behind her own dreams. But after tying the knot with Thomas Rhett and becoming the subject of songs like “Die a Happy Man,” she became a celebrity in her own right and decided to embrace the changes that life brought about.
Born Lauren Gregory, Akins grew up in Madison, Tennessee, a town just north of Nashville, with her younger sister, Macy, and their little brother, Grayson. She met Rhett in first grade, but they did not become good friends until they went to camp together during the summer before sixth grade. By the time eighth grade rolled around, they were “joined at the hip,” she writes in her new memoir, Live in Love.
The couple tried dating in high school, but their romance did not work out at first. While attending different colleges, they were in serious relationships with other people before Rhett finally told Akins that he still had feelings for her. After a whirlwind few months of dating, he proposed in December 2011, and they tied the knot the following October.
Around the same time, the Georgia native’s career started taking off, forcing Akins to decide whether to follow him on tour or put her nursing degree from University of Tennessee to use.
“I loved this man with everything in me, and his dreams were all coming true,” she writes in the book. “But wouldn’t you know it? Right there in the middle of all that excitement and celebration, a familiar question came bubbling up into my mind. A question I’d been struggling with for at least a couple years. I looked around at the glittering lights and I wondered, ‘What about my dreams?’”
In the end, Akins found a way to do both, attending as many of Rhett’s concerts as she could in between mission trips to Haiti and Uganda. Despite a few bumps in the road, the picture-perfect pair managed to make it work. They became parents in May 2017 when they adopted daughter Willa Gray from Uganda. Just three months later, Akins gave birth to their second daughter, Ada James, and their third, Lennon Love, arrived in February 2020.
“I cannot believe God gave me you three precious angels to raise on earth,” Akins writes in her memoir’s acknowledgments. “My heart could explode just thinking about how much I love each of you girls.”
Scroll down to read 10 revelations from Live in Love! And for even more, pick up a copy in bookstores now.