"She said yes a while ago but this is a much better place to take pictures than the kitchen," the country star joked

By Sarah Michaud
November 30, 2018 11:55 AM
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She got the best of him!

Luke Combs is engaged to girlfriend Nicole Hocking, the couple announced on social media Thursday. Debuting the ring with a photo from their Hawaiian vacation, the CMA best new artist revealed that he proposed to his longtime love ahead of their trip — but waited to share the news.

“She said yes a while ago but this is a much better place to take pictures than the kitchen,” Combs, 28, joked. “Can’t wait to spend forever with you! I love you!”

Added Hocking, “You’re stuck with me forever!! I love you so much babe.”

Hocking shared a photo of her new bling on her Instagram Story, captioning the shot, “So in love.”

Nicole Hocking’s engagement ring
Courtesy Nicole Hocking

When he and Hocking — who was working at BMI in Nashville — first started dating in 2016, there “was no publishing deal, no record deal, no booking deal” and a manager who’d never managed before, Combs told PEOPLE earlier this year.

“Everybody was like, ‘Yeah, this is never gonna work,'” Combs said, “and so I didn’t have anything when we met.”

Nicole Hocking and Luke Combs in 2017
John Shearer/WireImage

Turns out everybody was wrong. Combs was the first solo artist to score four consecutive No. 1s on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with his debut album’s hits “She Got the Best of Me,” “One Number Away,” “When It Rains It Pours” and “Hurricane.” Since the June 2017 release of This One's for You, the LP has spent 17 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, including 13 in 2018 alone — the most of any album this year.

Combs brushed off the accolades, telling PEOPLE: “I’m thankful for all of that stuff, but I’m just a regular dude who happens to have a really cool job.”

Nicole Hocking and Luke Combs
John Shearer/WireImage

After picking up best new artist at the CMA Awards earlier this month, Combs will next hit the road for his headlining Beer Never Broke My Heart tour, which kicks off in January.