10 Most Controversial Country CouplesPublished on June 9, 2016.
The world of country music is a whole other league of music genre. It’s often straitlaced, with many artists growing up in the Bible Belt south. However, over the years despite the genre’s squeaky clean image, there remains much controversy, especially when it comes to the couples faced with the entertainment industry and a public personal life. While some couples beat the odds, others fall victim to their own scandals. Here are the top controversial country couples and why.
10. Dolly Parton & Carl Dean
Seventy-year-old Dolly Parton has been married to 73-year-old business man Carl Dean for over 50 years. Controversy comes with the fact that Dolly has spent much of her marriage apart from her husband and they’ve only been photographed together a handful of times, which is suspicious for 50 years. Even reportedly being gone for 165 days at one point and having her own separate cabin on their shared property where she lives apart. Despite her hit song “Jolene” about a woman trying to steal her husband, as well as many many rumors over the years of Dolly having affairs with men like Sylvester Stallone and Burt Reynolds, Dolly and Carl remain happily married. Dolly says that Carl is a bit of a loner, and doesn’t like crowds or attention, and she told People that “[h]e’s like a brother and a father and a friend and a husband and a lover — all of those things to me. I think he’s kind of proud that we’ve been in it this long!” The couple plan to renew their wedding vows this year in celebration of their 50th anniversary.
9. Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood
One of the most adored and celebrated couples in country music is none other than the dynamic duo that is Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. Both being long time staples in country music, chart toppers and now married for over 10 years, they remain wildly in love. There’s just one small little controversy that will follow them forever — the fact that Garth and Trisha met a mere 13-months after he married first wife, Sandy Mahl. When recalling meeting Trisha for the first time, Garth told Ellen DeGeneres, “I felt that feeling like when you just meet your wife.” Despite his feelings for Trisha, he remained married to Sandy, raising their three children together for the next 14 years. Eventually his feelings for Trisha took a toll on the marriage, and Garth stepped away from country music into retirement in 2000. In 2001, he divorced Sandy Mahl. In 2005, he married his one true love, Trisha Yearwood. The rest is history.
8. Chely Wright & Lauren Blitzer
Chely Wright was one of the first country music performers to ever come out as openly gay. For many, this was a shock to the industry, but since then she’s worked hard as an advocate for the LGBT community. Since age 19 she’d been secretly active in relationships with women, but also with men. Most notably, Brad Paisley. While she speaks very highly of Brad, she was already in a relationship with a woman at the time and also cohabiting with her. She opened up to Oprah with regrets on how she treated Brad stating, “I had no business being in a relationship with him.” Later Chely Wright married LGBT rights advocate Lauren Blitzer. Chely later gave birth to twins, George Samuel and Everett Joseph in 2013. While on a good and honest path now, she’s definitely shaken things up and become apart of the most notable and outspoken gay couple in country music.
7. Reba McEntire & Narvel Blackstock
Reba practically is country music. She has transcended through generations, and even onto the small screen with a long running hit TV show with her own name, Reba. Recently, she divorced from husband of 26 years, Narvel Blackstock; however, she holds her head high and continues to be his business partner despite her heartbreak. Narvel is also the father of Kelly Clarkson’s husband, Brandon Blackstock. Narvel and Reba are Kelly’s music producers at the label Big Machine Label Group. Narvel and Reba have worked together for 35 years and publicly seem supportive of each other. Not sure how long this will last, as Narvel is now rumored to be dating Reba’s friend, Laura Putty Stroud. It’s unclear when the couple started dating, but it can’t be good news for Reba, who is still reeling from the divorce. Despite the controversy surrounding the end of their marriage, we hope these two can remain amicable and supportive throughout their time in business together. Plus, she’s Reba. She’s always gonna come out on top!
6. Jason Aldean & Brittany Kerr
Jason Aldean was married to his highschool sweetheart who he had two daughters with, at least until he was caught getting way too cozy with a former American Idol contestant, Brittany Kerr. He publicly apologized saying “I screwed up. I had too much to drink … and acted inappropriately.” Aldean also issued a public apology that was posted online: “I ultimately ended up embarrassing my family and myself.” Despite his apologies, his marriage dissolved and he wound up dating the woman at the center of the scandal, Brittany Kerr. After much scrutiny following his divorce in 2013, he went public with Brittany at the CMT awards in June of 2014. They were engaged by September 2014 and married in March of 2015. While Jason admits he went about things all wrong, he has no regrets as he lives as a happy newlywed with his new wife. Guess he took a few notes out of Garth Brooks’ book on relationships…whoops!
5. Billy Ray & Tish Cyrus
The achy-breaky-heart singer came back into the spotlight with the rise of Hannah Montana, starring himself and his daughter, Miley Cyrus. However, over the years Billy Ray and wife Tish came under constant scrutiny for their parenting of Miley, especially after she became increasingly sexualized at such a young age. After two decades of marriage, the couple called it quits in 2010, only to call off the divorce in 2011. They repeated this in 2013 after a filing for divorce and reconciling once again. Billy Ray made a statement to Us Weekly about it saying, “We both woke up and realized we love each other and decided we want to stay together. We both went into couples therapy something we haven’t done in 22 years of being together, and its brought us closer together and really opened up our communication in amazing ways.” After so many years in entertainment with children creating controversy alongside them, it’s no wonder this couple has been so up and down!
4. Jana Kramer & Mike Caussin
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again? Country singer and former One Tree Hill star Jana Kramer has been through the her fair share of diamond rings. At only 32, Jana has been married 3 times and engaged 4. New husband, football player Mike Caussin, struck up a relationship with the singer in 2014 on Twitter of all places. They raised eyebrows when they were married 9 months later despite her controversial past relationships. One of those relationships was a failed engagement to fellow country star, Brantley Gilbert, who she split from before dating Mike. Jana seems to have officially settled down this time though, as she and her new hubby welcomed daughter Jolie earlier this year.
3. Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman
These two jumped in with both feet right from the start. After only one month of dating, Keith and Nicole tied the knot. Ten years later, they are still standing! Nicole struggled in their marriage with infertility, but did conceive their daughter Sunday Rose and then opted for surrogacy for their second daughter, Faith Margaret. Despite successfully achieving a decade of marriage, which is no small feat for the entertainment industry, they have constantly been surrounded by controversy. Whether cheating rumors, divorce rumors, or stints in rehab for Keith (one of which was just months after marrying Kidman), the two remain a united front, defying odds.
2. Johnny Cash & June Carter
In the 1950’s, Johnny Cash was married to the woman he fell in love with at age 17, Vivian Liberto. The couple had 4 children together, but Johnny was a troubled man with drug addiction and had multiple affairs, as well as an incredibly controversial close relationship with fellow artist, June Carter. After his marriage with Vivian dissolved in 1966, Johnny went on to marry June Carter in 1968, despite all that controversy that surrounded them during their 12 years of “friendship.” June and Johnny were no strangers to hard times considering his struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, but it’s thought that June’s love for Johnny ultimately saved him. The couple had one child together, a son named John Carter Cash. They were married and worked together for 35 years until June’s death in 2003. Johnny died only four months later. The award winning movie Walk the Line came out in 2005 starring Joaquin Pheonix and Reese Witherspoon, which retold the early days of Johnny’s career and his relationship with June.
1. Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert
No country couple is more controversial than this former pair. The couple met in 2005 during a duet performance while Blake was married to ex-wife Kaynette Gern. Blake divorced Kaynette in 2006 after only three years of marriage. Blake and Miranda then took up what seemed like fate and became an official couple. After dating for 4 years they finally tied the knot and became the “it” couple of country music. Both chart topping and starring together on the hit TV show, The Voice, things came to a shocking a brutal end when massive cheating rumors for both parties came to the surface. They shocked fans when they announced their divorce in July of 2015. The media jumped on them, pitting them against each other with wild stories. Blake didn’t seem to let the media bother him too much, and he moved on quite quickly with co-star Gwen Stefani just months after the divorce. Despite new relationships for them both, they are still one of the most talked about couples not only in country music but the world.