Inside Thomas Rhett & Wife Lauren Akins' Sweet Love Story
The high school sweethearts recently welcomed daughter Lennon Love, who joins big sisters Ada James and Willa Gray
Just like a majority of the greatest love stories ever told, Thomas Rhett and Lauren Gregory's story started when they were kids. The pair, who met back in the sixth grade, were friends for years before dating as teens in high school.
A CHANGE OF HEART
As Thomas Rhett revealed in an interview with CBS This Morning, the pair almost married different people — until the country crooner's future father-in-law intervened. "Her dad called me and said, 'If you don't come over here tonight and tell Lauren how you feel about her, then I'm going to tell her how you feel about her,' " the singer recalled. The well-intentioned threat worked: the duo began dating soon after.
After six months of dating, Thomas Rhett and Lauren became engaged at the age of 22. "Everybody was telling us not to ... but we just fell in love at a young age," the "Anthem" singer told PEOPLE. Thomas Rhett's dad, songwriter Rhett Akins, echoed those same sentiments: "When I saw them stare at each other the entire 20 minutes they were saying their vows, it's like these two people are meant to be together."
ON THE ROAD
FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC
In case you were wondering, Thomas Rhett has already expressed his adoration for his wife in the form of a song that just so happened to snag him ACM, CMA and Billboard Music Awards. "I really did just wake up one day and was like, 'I have yet to write a song about her.' That's just one of those cheesy things you do for your girlfriend when you're 16, but I decided to do it when I was 25," he told PEOPLE of writing the tune "Die a Happy Man."
LIFE'S A BEACH
Art really did imitate life for the happy couple on the Hawaii set of Thomas Rhett's "Die a Happy Man" music video, where the pair packed on the PDA on the north shore of Oahu.
"It really is just us," he told PEOPLE in 2015. "We just hung around and did exactly what we would do if a camera was on us or not, except for the scenes where they're telling us to kiss underwater — that's something we don't typically do!"
A few months after celebrating their four-year wedding anniversary, the two announced they were expecting a baby together — and adopting a child from Africa. They had been trouble conceiving on their own, so started the adoption process — only to find out they were pregnant.
"I've been doing as much talking to other artists who have kids as possible," the singer told PEOPLE. "I had dinner with Dierks Bentley and his wife the other night and I got a few tips from Dierks. He was like, 'Well, you're not going to get any sleep and Red Bull is going to be your best friend!' "
A NEW ADDITION
After their year-long adoption journey, the couple welcomed their new daughter, Willa Gray Akins, home from Uganda on May 11, 2017. "On the way to the airport, it was like Christmas Day," the country star told PEOPLE.
Added Lauren: "It felt like a dream. I've dreamed of us all being on the same continent for so long. It finally feels like everyone is where they're supposed to be."
Shortly after bringing home Willa Gray, the pair welcomed their second child, daughter Ada James. “[She] is so stinking cute I just can’t take it!” Lauren said of Ada on Instagram. "We are all doing well now, just resting. Thank y’all for your prayers-she is a miracle and God is so good. Thomas Rhett and I are so I love with her. And Willa Gray is so excited to finally have a baby sister."
HAPPY AS CAN BE
While the new parents admitted that raising their two young daughters could sometimes be chaotic, Lauren and Thomas Rhett were exactly where they wanted to be. "There's never a dull moment," Lauren told PEOPLE. "We're tired, but we're happy!"
MORE TO 'LOVE'
Life got even more hectic in February 2020, when the family welcomed daughter Lennon Love. "Watching our kids meet Lennon for the first time was probably the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life," Thomas wrote alongside Lennon's birth announcement. "Ada James and Willa Gray are going to be the best big sisters on the planet. The Lord is so good and I’m so grateful for my beautiful growing family!! Y’all pray for us as we switch from man on man defense to zone."