Entertainment Music Country Elle King on Finding Love, Becoming a Mom After 'Tornado' 20s: 'I Have Everything I've Ever Wanted' The Grammy-nominated singer released her third album, Come Get Your Wife, last week By Jeff Nelson Jeff Nelson Instagram Twitter Jeff Nelson is the Senior News Editor, Entertainment at PEOPLE. For nearly a decade, he has worked across the brand's entertainment verticals, reporting on breaking news and writing and editing across platforms, as well as securing A-list cover exclusives, including Barry Manilow's coming out and an at-home interview with Madonna. Jeff has appeared as an expert on Good Morning America, Extra, HLN and SiriusXM, as well as at RuPaul's DragCon as a moderator. He studied magazine journalism at Drake University, graduating with a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 1, 2023 09:55 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Elle King with fiancé Daniel Tooker and their son Lucky. Photo: Cedrick Jones Elle King is living her dream. In the eight years since she rose to fame with her rowdy hit "Ex's & Oh's," the Grammy-nominated singer has survived a toxic marriage, substance abuse issues and heartbreaking pregnancy losses. But the hardships make her peaceful life now all the more fulfilling since she found love with fiancé Daniel Tooker and they welcomed their 16-month-old son Lucky Levi. And now King's sharing her journey on her new country album, Come Get Your Wife, out now. "I always wondered, 'What's my music going to sound like if I ever get happy?' And it's the best music I've ever made," King, 33, tells PEOPLE of the new record. "I feel so much joy in my life right now." Elle King Recalls Crying When She Played Her Son Lucky the New Song He Inspired: 'That's For Him' After King broke onto the charts in 2014, she was swept up in a whirlwind of destructive romances, drugs and rock and roll. Or, as she puts it: "My 20s were like a f---ing tornado — a hurricane, really." By 2016 she'd secretly married Scottish beau Andrew Ferguson weeks after they met. They divorced a year later after he was reportedly charged with felony domestic violence. (King didn't want to press charges, and the case was dismissed.) Struggling with depression and PTSD in the aftermath, King turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. "I was wild. I also had a lot of hurt. I didn't know how else to get through it than distract myself and party," says King, who sought help, went through "a lot" of therapy and is in a better place today. "I would never want to go back to my 20s. But I got a lot out of my system." In 2019 — following a broken engagement — she found a stable partner in tattoo artist Tooker, 32, whom she met at his Boston tattoo shop. Elle King. Cedrick Jones "There was this electric thing that I've never felt before," says King. "We hung out, laughed, then he tattooed me, and I posted a picture and said, 'Getting tattooed by my next ex-husband.' We've been in love ever since." Elle King Reveals She Battled Substance Abuse, Depression and PTSD After 'Destructive Marriage' As King — who got engaged to Tooker in October 2020 — contemplates why their romance is stronger than her past relationships, she jokes that she needed to "get a man with a job!" More seriously, "what I learned from all of my relationships is that maybe most of it really had nothing to do with them," she says. "We're magnets. Why was I attracting them? Why was I allow- ing these things in my life? Why was I deficient in self-confidence?" She lets the questions linger, then adds: "I've changed a lot." Life got even better when she welcomed Lucky. "I'm a mother. That's all I ever wanted to be," says King, who suffered two pregnancy losses before Lucky came along in 2021. "That's the hardest thing I've ever gone through, but I'm stronger from it. I wasn't supposed to have children with anyone other than Daniel. I look at him like, 'Thank God, you did it; you had a baby with a good guy.'" Lucky and mom Elle King. Cedrick Jones After King made hit duets with Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert, she decided to record a country album and relocated to the Nashville area. On Come Get Your Wife, King sings of the joys of motherhood ("Lucky") and her small-town roots on "Ohio." (She grew up with her mom and stepdad Justin near Columbus.) And in Nashville, she's found community — and friends in collaborator and former tour-mate Lambert. "I love that she is comfortable in her skin and in her art. She is so honest about who she is. She just gives it all she has every time no matter what," Lambert tells PEOPLE of King, who has found her place in Nashville. "Because she is honest, and that's what country music is. Stories about the truth, good, bad and ugly — and Elle tells those stories in such a beautiful way ... I love her to death." Miranda Lambert and Elle King. Mindy Small/FilmMagic These days, King is relishing time at home with her family. "I decorated every nook and cranny of the house, and I made it really, really homey. Every morning we listen to Stevie Wonder records and dance," she says. "Rock and roll-country is super badass. I would give everything up for my family — but I don't have to." Indeed, King will soon hit the road for her A-Freakin-Men Tour — with her family along for the ride. Elle King and son Lucky. Cedrick Jones "I always dreamt of having a baby and my partner on the bus, traveling around the world and making great music, and now it's my daily life," she says. "I have everything I've ever wanted." For more on Elle King, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.